Veteran controversial politician Gerald Morkel dies at 76

Former Mayor of Cape Town and Premier of the Western Cape Gerald Morkel died on Tuesday after losing a battle with cancer.

Morkel also served as a member of the Cape Town City Council for the Democratic Alliance until his retirement from politics in 2011.

Morkel was 76 years old when he died.

Former DA leader Tony Leon says Morkel played an integral role in the formation of their party, Democratic Alliance.

Gerald and I worked together during the difficult years of forming the Democratic Alliance in 2000 when there was no overall majority party that won the Western Cape Province.

Tony Leon, Former DA leader

Gerald led the first coalition party in South African politics of democracy, a template that many have followed

Tony Leon, Former DA leader

He was a pioneer and was very effective in bringing together both formations.

Tony Leon, Former DA leader

Leon spoke of how Morkel refused to follow Marthinus Van Schalkwyk when he decided to align the New National Party with the ANC.

He says Morkel blatantly declined and stuck with the DA.

He made a speech of splendid defiance on the steps of Cape Town Civic Centre and said "office without honour is the jail of the political harlot."

Tony Leon, Former DA leader

There are a lot of milestones he left behind of how you could have a very worthwhile political life when you stick to your principles and stick to your guns.

Tony Leon, Former DA leader

To hear Tony Leon pay tribute to Gerald Morkel, listen below:


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