The Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo spent his last day canvassing for the ANC in Soweto together with President Cyril Ramaphosa for the forthcoming local government polls.
President Ramaphosa said he was profoundly pained by Matongo’s demise in an auto crash on Saturday night.
The mayor was on a journey with two of his VIP guards at the time of the accident. Both guards sustained injuries.
According to the presidency, the accident happened after Matongo who was 46 years, spent the day taking part in a voter-registration exercise in Soweto, his birthplace, together with president Ramaphosa.
‘Ramaphosa extends his condolences to mayor Matongo’s household, friends, colleagues and comrades, associates and the dwellersof the City of Johannesburg,’ said the presidency in a briefing.
Mayor Matongo passed on barely a month after assuming office on 10 August. Matongo succeeded Geoff Makhubo, who also died only a month before as a result of complications from Covid-19.
Correspondents had earlier reported that Makhubo’s candidacy had aroused a hot contest between two coalitions in the ANC in the region.
The deceased Matongo and two other aspirants became the first group to be interviewed by the ANC national top brass.Its emergence is under the new rules which states that prospective metro mayors are interviewed by the ANC’s top six, Ramaphosa inclusive.
Matongo according to the presidency, was elected unopposed as mayor.
‘It is difficult to understand this disaster, given the strength and enthusiasm with which mayor Matongo spoke with me and dwellers of Soweto so briefly before his death,’ President Ramaphosa said.
‘There was Nothing that could prepare any of us for this unexpected loss, which has denied our country’s economic centre of its 2nd executive mayor just in two months from now.
‘At a time when he was completely engaged in improving qualities and building opportunities for all the people of Johannesburg and stakeholders in the metropolitan economy, Mayor Matongo has been taken from us.’ said Ramaphosa.