THE SUDDEN death of Johannesburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo is still a shock to many.
He died in a fatal car crash this past Saturday in Golden Highway, a drive away from his home Lenasia, following a voter campaign in Soweto, in the company of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Premier David Makhura, Speaker of Council and fellow Members of the Mayoral Committee, earlier on that day.
A pedestrian was also involved in the accident. So far, three- people (Matongo) have been confirmed dead and his two VIP protectors are still fighting for their lives.
“Shock and sadness.” That is how the ANC described the death of Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo.
“Comrade Jolidee Matongo’s passing is a great loss to the movement and society at large. We are forever grateful for his selfless contribution to the freedom of the people of South Africa and the enhancement of service delivery within the City of Johannesburg,” said ANC Joburg regional secretary Dada Morero in a statement.
“To this end, the ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, the City of Johannesburg
and the entire liberation movement. We wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time.”
The DA said it is saddened by Matongo’s death.
“While we were both representatives of two opposing political parties, Mayor Matongo always treated me with respect as a fellow council colleague, and even during his short tenure as mayor, was willing to take my calls on matters of critical service delivery issues,” said the DA’s mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Mpho Phalatse .
“Matongo was a kind-hearted individual and I take great comfort in having the privilege to have known and worked with him during our years in the Joburg Council.”
People on Twitter also paid tribute to Matongo.
Former Johannesburg mayor and ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba said when he heard the news he wished he was dreaming.
“Matongo and I had a very special relationship over the years. I remember every time before council we would joke that next time we should have a boxing ring,” added Mashaba, referring to the sometimes tense nature of politics in the City of Johannesburg.
Speaker of Jhb Council, Cllr Nonceba Molwele is deeply saddened by his tragic death.
“I am in shock, Jolidee was a brother to me, we were together from the morning, preparing for this registration weekend,” says Molwele.
“He was fondly known as “Jolly good fellow”, by his comrades and friends because of his kind nature and great sense of humour”, she said.
Upon receiving a call of the passing of the EM, Cllr Molwele rushed to the scene on Golden Highway, and later visited his wife and children, until early hours of this morning (Sunday).
Matongo was elected the youngest Mayor after the death of Geoff Makhubo hardly three- months.
The well-read Matongo was (46) at the time of his passing.
I personally interacted with him pre and post his mayoral post at the Chambers Council and came across as a very informed and down to earth character. And yes, he knew how to dress from head to toe.
Details for memorial and burial service will be made soon.
Rest eternally in Peace ‘Jolly’.
Image (The late CoJ Mayor Jolidee Matongo (far right) seen with Pres Ramaphosa and GP Premier David Makhura, in Soweto for a voter campaign, hours before his death).