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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

COPE and Tshwane council mourns death of former mayor  

Tributes have poured in for the late former mayor of the City of Tshwane

The Congress of the People (COPE) said it was saddened by the death of its former mayor and speaker of Council Murunwa Makwarela.


The City of Tshwane confirmed that Makwarela died in the early hours of Tuesday morning after experiencing a short illness.  

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Makwarela resigned as mayor shortly after being elected due to allegations that he failed to declare his insolvency status and presented a fake rehabilitation certificate. He also faced fraud allegations and was experiencing financial problems.

COPE spokesperson Eric Mohlapamaswi confirmed that Makwarela was “distant” from the party despite being a member but said he was saddened by the passing.

“We would like to express our condolences to his family and friends. We hope that they find peace with all that is happening,” Mohlapamaswi said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘A sad day for the City’ − Tributes pour in for former Tshwane mayor Murunwa Makwarela

Mohlapamaswi said despite the serious allegations that Makwarela faced he was still a “good” South African.

“He is a good South African. Things happened the way they happened. At the time of his passing, he was not found guilty [of fraud], so it’s hard to say if he was an embarrassment to COPE. His case was not yet concluded,” Mohlapamaswi said.

Some inside the party had accused Makwarela of being in a faction, but it was not clear which faction that was. The internal battles within COPE are likely to affect the party at the upcoming general elections with some analysts predicting a drop in votes for the party.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Council in Tshwane Mncedi Ndzwanana expressed sadness at the late former mayor’s death.

Watch his comments below.

 “He has lost his life this morning… It is a sad day for the city, for the office of the speaker… He is my predecessor, I took over from him and I continue from where he left. I’d like to say to the family and the residents of Tshwane, condolences…” Ndzwanana said

Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink said he was also saddened by Makwarela’s death. He said the late politician played an important role in the council.

“Dr Makwarela served as executive mayor during a tumultuous period in the City’s politics in March 2023. Prior to his election as mayor, he served as the Speaker,” Brink said.

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