Loyiso Masuku mourns Joburg mayor Matongo, says the loss has been ‘a test of strength’

Newly elected Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo died in a car accident on September 18 2021.
Newly elected Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo died in a car accident on September 18 2021.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

ANC Greater Johannesburg deputy secretary Loyiso Masuku says the City of Johannesburg is going through “a test of strength” after the death of newly elected mayor Jolidee Matongo.

Masuku paid tribute to Matongo during an ANC caucus memorial service on Tuesday.

“He was a person who was committed to making sure the challenges of the citizens of Johannesburg are resolved. From day one, he went in and said ‘let’s push’. We lost a soldier who died with his boots on. On Saturday he was working the entire day for registrations so the ANC can have higher numbers of registered voters,” said Masuku.

Matongo died in a car accident after attending the ANC election campaign with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday. TimesLIVE reported that he was travelling with two VIP protectors at the time of the accident. Both protectors sustained injuries.

Matongo succeeded Geoff Makhubo, who died of complications related to Covid-19. He had been a mayor for just over a month after he was elected at the city council meeting in August.

Masuku said Matongo was a solutions-based leader who pushed employees in the city to work hard.

“As much as he expected delivery, he also worked and led from the front,” said Masuku.

She described Matongo as someone who was jolly and enjoyed every space he was in, including ANC meetings.

Masuku said during the many encounters with Matongo, she realised he was the leader Johannesburg needed.

“He embraced everybody regardless of colour or creed. Comrade Joli understood the character of the ANC, nonracialism, of having a youth league leader from a suburban branch and a coloured person or white person. He believed everybody, as enshrined in our constitution, must be given the respect they deserve.”