/ 23 April 2024

Former Tshwane mayor Murunwa Makwarela dies

Murunwa Makwarela
Murunwa Makwarela.

Former Tshwane mayor and speaker Murunwa Makwarela died on Tuesday morning, the metro’s current speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana has confirmed. He was 52-years-old.

In a video message, Ndzwanana paid tribute to Makwarela, saying his death was a loss for the city.

“He lost his life this morning. It is a sad day for the city and it is a sad day for the office of the speaker as well because he is my predecessor. I took over from him and I continue from where he left off,” Ndzwanana said.

“I would like to say condolences to the family and the residents of Tshwane — God has given and God has taken.”

Efforts by the Mail & Guardian to contact Makwarela’s family had not been successful by the time of publication.

Tshwane mayor Cillier Brink said he was saddened by the death of Makwarela, who he noted had served during a tumultuous period in the city’s politics last year.

“Prior to his election as mayor, he served as the speaker. Whatever the differences we might have had, and the controversy of his tenure, I am saddened by his passing. I pray that God will comfort his family and bring them peace,” Brink said.

Makwarela was facing fraud charges in the specialised commercial crimes court in Pretoria for submitting an allegedly fake insolvency clearance certificate to the City of Tshwane which allowed him to remain mayor.

Soon after being elected mayor, he was found to be insolvent and ineligible to be a councillor. 

He was deregistered by the Electoral Commission of South Africa but later produced a rehabilitation certificate, which led to him being reinstated. However, an investigation into the authenticity of the certificate found that it was fraudulent and Makwarela resigned.