Jolidee Matongo, a Zimbabwean who recently defied the odds by becoming Johannesburg mayor, has died in a road traffic accident.
Matongo died 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 election as the first resident of arguably the continent’s most popular city provoked some xenophobic sentiments among some South Africans who felt it was out of taste for a foreigner to hold the job.