Who was Gerald Morkel?
Gerald Norman Morkel was the Mayor of Cape Town and Premier of the Western Cape province in South Africa. He also served as a member of the Cape Town City Council for the Democratic Alliance until his retirement from politics in 2011.
Gerald Morkel Profile Summary
|Name||Gerald Norman Morkel|
|Place of Birth||Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa|
|Death Date||January 9, 2018( aged 76)|
|Place of Death||Tokai, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa|
|Parents||Hercules Morkel(Father), Isabel Morkel (Mother)|
|Children||Garth (Son), Kent (Son), Craig(Son), Gail(Son)|
Gerald Morkel Biography
Gerald Morkel was born on February 2, 1941, in Harfield Village, Cape Town, South Africa. He was the eldest of two sons born to Hercules and Isabel Morkel, nee Robertson
Gerald and his brother Clifford were still very young when their mother passed away. The two brothers were sent to Cape Town to avoid being drafted into the army and their sisters too due to a shortage of work in Beaufort West. Their father, Samuel had been placed under house arrest as he was deemed to be a German sympathizer, primarily because of hisGerman surname and heritage.
Gerald married Hazel Roberts and after completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter he began working as a builder, Knocking on doors and asking if there was anything that needed fixing. He then met an Architect who asked him to build a holiday home for someone in Betty’s Bay. This led to more orders for homes in that region. He assembled a crew of about 20 and started a business called Morkel Builders. He became relatively wealthy. He became well known and popular in the largely colored community and built his subsequent political career on its strong and unflagging support. He had always enjoyed talking politics and when he was asked to help a business associate campaign for the Coloured Persons Representative Council, he became interested in a political career for himself.
Gerald Morkel Political Career
In 1984, Gerald Morkel was elected on a Labour Party ticket to the colored-only House of Representatives in the Tricameral Parliament. He defected to the National Party in 1994 and was appointed the Western Cape leader of the renamed New National Party in 1998 when he became premier of the province after Hernus Kriel stepped down. In the 1999 election, no party obtained a majority in the Western Cape. The NNP formed a coalition with the smaller Democratic Party, with Morkel remaining as premier. In 2000, plans began to prepare an amalgamation of the two parties under the name Democratic Alliance.
In 2001, the NNP leadership pulled out of its cooperation with the DA and instead sought to form a partnership with the African National Congress. Morkel was deeply critical of this decision and attempted to turn the majority of the NNP against it. When this failed, he was forced to resign as premier. Joining the DA, Morkel was then elected as mayor of Cape Town. He remained in office for less than a year, when the DA was ousted from power by an ANC-NNP coalition following the floor-crossing period in October 2002. Morkel continued for a while as Western Cape provincial leader of the DA but eventually stepped down due to his links to fraudster Jurgen Harksen. He continued serving as a member of the City Council for Steenberg until 2011.
Gerald Morkel Family
Gerald Morkel was married to Hazel Morkel and together, they had three sons: Garth, Kent (also a politician) and Craig and a daughter Gail.
Gerald Morkel Death
Gerald Morkel died on Tuesday afternoon, 9 January 2018, at his home in Tokai, Cape Town, with his wife and sister by his side. He was diagnosed with cancer in the abdomen, in 2014.
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