The mayor of South Africa’s economic hub Johannesburg Jolidee Matongo died in a motor vehicle accident on Saturday, hours after he had joined President Cyril Ramaphosa in launching the ruling African National Congress’ registration campaign for local government elections.Matongo, aged 46, was elected unopposed to his position in August following the death of his predecessor, Geoff Makhubo, a month earlier due to Covid-19 complications.
Details of the accident were not yet available at the time APA went to press.
A saddened Ramaphosa sent his condolences to Matongo’s family, friends, colleagues, comrades and residents of the city, the presidency said in a statement Saturday evening.
“It is hard to comprehend this tragedy, given the vitality and passion with which Mayor Matongo interacted with me and residents of Soweto so shortly before his death,” the president said.
He added: “Nothing could prepare any of us for this sudden loss, which has deprived our nation’s economic centre of its second Executive Mayor in two months.”
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the mayor was a committed and selfless activist who dedicated his time to the overall improvement of the quality of life of the people of Gauteng province.
Opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema also sent his “heartfelt condolences” to Matongo in a tweet.
South Africans end their two-day municipal elections registration on Sunday in readiness for the 1 November vote.