South Africa News

President Ramaphosa mourns Mayor of Joburg Jolidee Matongo

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the last moments he shared with the now late Mayor of Joburg, Jolidee Matongo as a priceless treasure.

Hours before his untimely death, Matongo spent the day walking side by side with the Ramaphosa in Soweto, where they were encouraging locals to register to vote for the upcoming local municipal elections.

Ramaphosa said, “It is hard to comprehend this tragedy, given the vitality and passion with which Mayor Matongo interacted with myself and the residents of Soweto so shortly before his death.

“Nothing could prepare any of us for this sudden loss, which has deprived our nation’s economic center of its second Executive Mayor in two months.”

He added, “Mayor Matongo was taken from us at a time when he was dedicated to improving conditions and creating opportunities for all the people of Johannesburg and stakeholders in the metropolitan economy.”

The President further explained: “Like all of us, he was looking forward to the forthcoming election, and we saw in person today that he had put his heart and soul into mobilising the people of the city to make their voices heard on 1 November.

“The time we spent together has been rendered a priceless treasure given his untimely and traumatic passing. May his soul rest in peace.”

Mayor Matongo, aged 46, died on Sunday night in a car crash on the Golden Highway in Lenasia, south of Joburg. He had been in the office of the mayor for just over a month, after replacing Geoffrey Makhubo who died in July this year.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura worked closely with Matongo, encouraging people to take the vaccine for the past few months also conveyed his condolences.

“I spent more time with him in the past week starting on Thursday, as we joined the police on operation O Kae Molao. We were there to engage with communities in Soweto, emphasising the importance of vaccinating as we continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mayor Matongo executed his duties with a cool and calm demeanor and remained committed to selflessly serving the citizens of Johannesburg,”

“Mayor Matongo’s passing has left me shocked and shattered. I send my heartfelt condolences to Mrs Matongo and children, his extended family, friends and comrades,” said Premier Makhura.

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