Johannesburg’s mayor Jolidee Matongo , a Zimbabwean only elected to the position last month, has died in a car accident
An official in the municipality has confirmed.
Matongo died in a car accident on Saturday evening, hours after participating in an ANC electioneering programme with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Soweto.
He had been at the helm of the mayoral office for just over a month after being elected unopposed at a council meeting in August.
Two city officials confirmed the death of Matongo and the mayor’s political ally in Gauteng, Lebogang Maile, also confirmed the news through a tweet, saying: “I’m shattered.”
Matongo replaced Geoff Makhubo, who died suddenly from Covid-19 complications.
His mayoral candidacy provoked a heated contest between two factions in the ANC in the region.
Matongo and two other candidates became the first group to be interviewed by the ANC national top brass.
This happened under new rules that prospective metro mayors are interviewed by the ANC’s powerful top six, including Ramaphosa.
He had been appointed as mayor on 10 August and served in the position for just over a month.
Matongo had earlier on Saturday accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa in Soweto, to campaign for the ANC ahead of this year’s municipal elections.
He had been elected unopposed as Joburg mayor, succeeding Geoff Makhubo, who died in July of Covid-19 complications.
Matongo served as the MMC for Finance under Makhubo.
He had risen through the ranks, from serving as a member of the Soweto Student Congress and the Congress of South African Students before moving on to serve as the regional head of communications in the ANC for eight years.
He had also served as the chief of staff responsible for the overall running and functioning of the offices of the Gauteng MEC for the sport and economic development and agriculture departments.
Matongo was born in Soweto.
At the age of 13, he took up student politics in the historic township and became a member of the ANC Youth League. He was subsequently elected as the youth league’s regional chairperson, according to the City of Joburg website.
He served as a member of the Johannesburg ANC’s regional executive committee for 18 years.
He joined the public service more than a decade ago.
The City of Joburg’s website said Matongo was currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Administration.
He held various qualifications, which include a B-Tech degree in Public Management, Project Management, Quality Assurance as well as Public Management and Development.