Johannesburg Mayor Matongo Dies In Suspected 'Political Foul Play'

JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo was killed in a car accident on Saturday evening, the city announced.

JOHANNESBURG — Johannesburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo died Saturday night in a car accident, the city announced.

He was 46 years old.

Matongo was returning from a day of campaigning for the ruling African National Congress in Soweto – where he had joined President Cyril Ramaphosa – when his BMW X5 collided with a Nissan pick-up truck.

In a statement, the City of Johannesburg said the accident happened in Lenasia, a borough of Johannesburg.

“Mayor Matongo was with two VIP protectors at the time of the accident. Both guards were injured,” the statement said, adding that more details of the accident would be released “in due course.”

The SABC reported that the Nissan van slammed into Matongo’s chauffeured BMW as the driver tried to avoid a pedestrian in the road.

The mayor usually travels with a blue light escort, but he did not have a convoy at the time, sources said.

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

Matongo’s father was a Zimbabwean immigrant and his mother was South African.

A long-serving councilor, Matongo was unanimously elected mayor of Johannesburg last August.

Anti-immigrant groups criticized his choice but were drowned out by bipartisan support for Matongo, who was known for his “cool and calm attitude”.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said Matongo was a “dedicated and selfless activist who dedicated his time to the service of the people”, adding that his death had “shocked and devastated” him.

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