Peter Marais

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Peter Marais

3rd Premier of the Western Cape
In office
5 December 2001 – 3 June 2002
Preceded byGerald Morkel
Succeeded byMarthinus van Schalkwyk
Mayor of Cape Town
In office
7 December 2000 – 21 November 2001
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byGerald Morkel
Personal details
Petrus Jacobus Marais

(1948-09-04) 4 September 1948 (age 70)
Cape Town, South Africa
Alma materUniversity of the Western Cape

Petrus Jacobus "Peter" Marais (born on 4 September 1948) is a South African politician who is currently serving as a Member of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

He previously served as the 3rd Premier of the Western Cape between 2001 and 2002, and as the inaugural Mayor of Cape Town from 2000 until his dismissal in 2001. He has been a member of multiple political parties and movements.

Marais joined the Freedom Front Plus in January 2019 and consequently became the party's Western Cape Premier candidate for the 2019 election. He returned to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament in May 2019.[1]

Political career[edit]

Marais was the leader of the People's Congress Party and represented the party in the House of Representatives from 1984 to 1994. He joined the National Party in 1994. He was elected to the Western Cape Provincial Parliament later in the same year. In 1998, newly-elected Premier of the Western Cape, Gerald Morkel, appointed Marais to the post of Provincial Minister of Health and Welfare.[2] Morkel later dismissed him as Provincial Minister in February 2000 but re-appointed him to the Provincial Cabinet in June, heading the Social Services and Poverty Relief portfolio.[3][4]

Marais was a senior member of the New National Party. He became a member of the Democratic Alliance in June 2000 and consequently held dual party membership. He was the Democratic Alliance's Cape Town mayoral candidate. He was elected Mayor of Cape Town in December 2000. Leader of Democratic Alliance, Tony Leon, dismissed Marais as mayor in 2001. Marais subsequently appealed to The Western Cape High Court. The court ordered his reinstatement in November 2001. He resigned as Mayor of Cape Town only a few hours after the court made its judgement. The sacking of Marais contributed to the New National Party pulling out of the Democratic Alliance.[5][6]

Marais was elected Premier of the Western Cape on 5 December 2001 and served until his resignation on 3 June 2002. He resigned following allegations of sexual harassment. The Western Cape High Court later found him not guilty of the charges.[7]

Following his departure from the New National Party, Marais founded the New Labour Party. The party performed poorly in the 2004 elections and as a result, was dissolved.

Marais joined the newly-formed Congress of the People in November 2008 and quit the party in 2009.[8][9] He alongside Danny Titus established the Brown Empowerment Movement (Afrikaans: Bruin Bemagtiging Beweging) in June 2013.[10] Marais joined the Independent Civic Organisation of South Africa in July 2018.[11]

In January 2019, Leader of the Freedom Front Plus, Pieter Groenewald, announced Marais as the party's Western Cape Premier candidate for the upcoming general election.[12]

Following the 2019 elections, the Freedom Front Plus won one seat in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. Marais filled the seat on 22 May 2019.

Family and personal life[edit]

Marais was born in Cape Town. He attended Kensington High School and later studied at the University of the Western Cape.

He is married to Bonita Marais and the couple has children.


  1. ^ Peter Marais re-enters political ring as WC premier candidate for FF Plus, Eyewitness News. Retrieved on 2 February 2019.
  2. ^ Morkel reshuffles Western Cape cabinet, Mail & Guardian, 24 September 1998. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ Why Premier Morkel fired Peter Marais, IOL, 14 February 2000. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  4. ^ Morkel gives Bester safety portfolio, IOL, 28 June 2000. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  5. ^ Marais resigns, News24, 12 November 2001. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  6. ^ Oh no, I won't go, says Peter Marais, IOL, 13 October 2001. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  7. ^ Peter Marais off the hook, News24, 18 August 2004. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  8. ^ Hamlyn, Michael. Peter Marais joins Cope, Mail & Guardian, 28 November 2008. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  9. ^ Peter Marais abandons COPE - EWN. Retrieved on 29 April 2019.
  10. ^ Brown movement not a political party, News24, 18 June 2013. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  11. ^ Former CT Mayor Marais joins Icosa - EWN. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
  12. ^ Why the FF+ and Peter Marais might just be a perfect fit. Retrieved on 19 April 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Mayor of Cape Town
7 December 2000 – 21 November 2001
Succeeded by
Gerald Morkel
Preceded by
Gerald Morkel
Premier of the Western Cape
5 December 2001 – 3 June 2002
Succeeded by
Marthinus van Schalkwyk