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Tshwane’s mayorship again in tailspin, following Makwarela’s ‘fake’ insolvency rehabilitation certificate – and now resignation

Tshwane’s mayorship again in tailspin, following Makwarela’s ‘fake’ insolvency rehabilitation certificate – and now resignation
Dr Murunwa Makwarela of Cope speaks after he was elected as the new Executive Mayor of Tshwane at the special council meeting on 28 February 2023 in Tshwane. (Photo: Gallo Images/Beeld/ Deaan Vivier)

The drama surrounding the mayoral chain in Tshwane has taken another turn with Murunwa Makwarela resigning, following questions over his submitted insolvency certificate that instead of clearing him, raised further questions.

Muruna Makwarela has resigned as the mayor of Tshwane, the Congress of the People (COPE) confirmed on Friday, 10 March. The party’s Tshwane region said this was due to “questions raised over the legitimacy of his rehabilitation certificate or court order”. 

Makwarela was also withdrawn as a Cope councillor, and a replacement will be announced in due course, said the party in a statement released on Friday afternoon.

Makwarela, the sole councillor for Cope in the Tshwane council, was elected mayor on 28 February in a dramatic sitting. 

Read in Daily Maverick:Tshwane gets a new mayor – Cope’s Makwarela – as seething multiparty coalition urgently seeks answers

Makwarela courted controversy this week after he was disqualified as a councillor because he is insolvent. This meant he was removed as mayor. 

Then by Thursday, 9 March, Makwarela produced a certificate that showed that he was rehabilitated. 

“The City Manager of Tshwane, Mr Johann Mettler, received a notice of insolvency rehabilitation from Councillor Dr Murunwa Makwarela and has subsequently informed the Gauteng Provincial Electoral Officer of the [Electoral Commission of South Africa] to immediately withdraw the declaration of a vacancy for the Congress of the People (Cope) Proportional Representative Councillor,” read a statement issued by the City. 

Read in Daily Maverick: Tshwane Mayor Murunwa Makwarela gets his post back after submitting a certificate of solvency

But by the morning of Friday 10 March, Tumelo Ledwaba, the chief registrar of the Gauteng High Court, in a letter to the Office of the Chief Justice, said the certificate presented by Makwarela – which cleared him of his insolvency – was never issued by the court.

“I, Tumelo Refiliwe Ledwaba, the chief registrar of the High Court of South Africa division in Pretoria, hereby confirm that the document purporting to be an order issued by this court was never issued in our court,” said the letter, made public on Friday. 

Cope’s statement called the matter “sub judice” and said they would not comment further. 

“The Cope Tshwane Region has therefore resolved to give Dr Murunwa Makwarela the space required to deal with these personal matters and legal matters and to afford him his constitutional right of being innocent until proven otherwise,” said the party. 

Another Tshwane mayor bites the dust as Murunwa Makwarela gets the boot

Murunwa Makwarela of Cope. (Photo: Gallo Images/Beeld/ Deaan Vivier)

Laying charges

Cope’s former coalition partners in Tshwane, the Democratic Alliance, ActionSA, African Christian Democratic Party, Freedom Front Plus and Inkatha Freedom Party will lay charges against Makwarela for this.

“These charges relate to allegations that Dr Makwarela knowingly supplied falsified and fraudulent documentation to the City of Tshwane,” read the multi-parties statement. 


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“Residents have been dismayed and left in disbelief by the shameless and dishonest politicking that has seen the governance of the City destabilised and the ability of residents to receive service delivery disrupted. Dr Makwarela’s integrity and questionable legitimacy as a duly elected City councillor have been at the nexus of these unfortunate events.” 

The coalition said the charges against Makwarela were “necessary in defence of the integrity of the Tshwane City Council”. 

Daily Maverick reached out to Makwarela on Friday afternoon for comment, but he did not respond to calls. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Epsilon Indi says:

    What is it with these people that they feel they can lie about almost everything including their qualifications and get away with it ? Do they not understand there is something called honesty ? Is lying so deeply rooted in their cultures or is it something specific to the individual ?

  • WS 95 says:

    the race to the bottom accelerates with these politicians – even by South African standards this is plumbing new depths!!

  • Johan Buys says:

    If you are going to photoshop anything, a high court document is probably the one that will most assuredly land you behind bars with no option of a fine.

    Is tax compliance status a prerequisite for public office? It should be!

    Maybe we should conduct an audit of EVERYBODY from town councillors to cabinet for offending criminal records, fake qualifications, tax compliance and solvency.

    To save money on the audit, grant a 30 day amnesty to resign without facing the consequences. Prediction : dozens of resignations, possibly hundreds.

  • Hermann Funk says:

    How could get this guy a PhD? His behaviour and action demonstrates pure stupidity.

  • Isis Limor says:

    From mayor to fraudster in a matter of days. So if he was dubious before… now he is criminal.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Now I get the “doctor” title 😀

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    Let’s not forget who sits behind this thoroughly despicable ‘representative of the people’. Cope, of course, but the architects of the power grabs are Malema and probably Mashatile.

  • Roy Haines says:

    I wonder what he is a doctor of? Probably forgery and lying!

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    Why am I not surprised?

    Our country is becoming much like the “Mad hatter’s tea party” in Alice in Wonderland!!

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Ah, so it’s a “doctorit” he has then? 😀

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