Johannesburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo dies in car accident
The mayor of Johannesburg, Mayor Jolidee Matongo, died in a car accident Saturday after appearing at a campaign event with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. A statement from the City of Johannesburg read, “The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Jolidee Matongo, passed away in a car accident in Lenasia on Saturday, 18 September 2021.
Mayor Matongo was returning from work in Soweto to encourage voters to register to vote in the upcoming Local Government Elections 2021 alongside President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Mayor Matongo was travelling with two of his VIP protectors at the time of accident. Both protectors sustained injuries. More details about the Mayor's passing will be shared in due time.”
The mayor’s vehicle collided with a van while trying to avoid a pedestrian who had run on to the road, according to media reports.
Jolidee Matongo was elected mayor of South Africa’s economic hub last month, following the passing of Geoff Makhubo, who succumbed to COVID-19 complications in July.
"The premier went to see them in hospital this morning (Sunday). They have been stabilised," Chauke said.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson, Xolani Fihla, said a case of culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving was opened at the Lenasia South police station and the investigation into the accident was continuing.
Paying tribute to the mayor, Ramaphosa said Matongo was looking forward to the local government elections on 1 November. "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. Matongo has been taken from us at a time when he was totally immersed in improving conditions and creating opportunities for all the people of Johannesburg and stakeholders in the metropolitan economy. Like all of us, he was looking forward to the forthcoming election and we saw in person today (Saturday) that he had put his heart and soul into mobilising the people of the city to make their voices heard on 1 November," Ramaphosa said in a statement on Saturday night.
The pedestrian injured in the road accident has subsequently died, increasing the death toll from Saturday night's crash to three.
The City of Johannesburg on Wednesday honoured Executive Mayor Jolidee Matongo with a wreath-laying ceremony near the site of the car crash that claimed his life.
Sources: Phindile Chauke, Mayoral Communications, City of Johannesburg; News 24