Last week, Dr Murunwa Makwarela resigned as Speaker of the Tshwane Council to assume the role of Executive Mayor. However, he has since been disqualified from this position, and now Dr Murunwa Makwarela’s mayoral term ends.
The recent election saw Makwarela, a Congress of the People (COPE) member, win against the DA’s Cilliers Brink via a secret ballot. Following Makwarela’s election, the Speaker of the Council became vacant. As a result, the Council met for a sitting yesterday to elect a new Speaker. However, the vote did not happen because the Council failed to meet the quorum, as the DA and its coalition chose not to attend the Council.
The DA has expressed dissatisfaction, alleging that Makwarela was incompetent for the job. A member informed the DA of the public that Makwarela had been sequestrated in the Gauteng High Court in 2016, which led to further investigations conducted by the City Manager and Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
According to the DA Tshwane Ward Councillor Jacqui Uys, “an unrehabilitated insolvent is barred by the Constitution from holding public office.” Makwarela was given until today to prove that he is a rehabilitated insolvent and eligible to hold office as a councillor in section 158(1) of the Constitution.
As Makwarela’s mayoral term ends, it has left the position of Executive Mayor vacant. As a result, the City Manager has called for a new election to be held as soon as possible to place the City’s stability above any self-interested political games and schemes.
The DA-led coalition has expressed satisfaction with Makwarela’s disqualification and called for a new election to elect a new mayor. However, it remains to be seen whether this setback for the ANC-led coalition will create an opportunity for the DA’s Cilliers Brink to assume the role of Executive Mayor.