Jolidee Matongo, the newly elected Mayor of Johannesburg, died in an automobile accident on Saturday, September 18.
When the tragedy occurred, the 46-year-old politician, who had only been elected a month before, was returning from a voter registration campaign in Soweto township with South Africa’s president ahead of local elections.
His vehicle crashed with a van while attempting to avoid a person who had ran onto the road, according to local media. The pedestrian and the driver of the second vehicle died as well, but Mr Matongo’s two bodyguards are being treated for their wounds in hospital.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said while speaking on his death;
“It is hard to comprehend this tragedy, given the vitality and passion with which Mayor Matongo interacted with me and residents of Soweto so shortly before his death.
“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.”
Mr Matongo, who took office as mayor on August 10 when his predecessor died of COVID-19 problems, is the son of a Zimbabwean migrant and has been a political activist in South Africa since the age of 13, pushing against apartheid, the legalized system of racism in effect at the time.
He was a member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), and he was slated to lead the party’s campaign to win Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial city, in local government elections on November 1st.