Late Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo died in a car crash when he was within two minutes from reaching his Lenasia South home in the commercial city.
The horrific crash on the Golden Highway Saturday night also claimed the life of the driver of a Nissan bakkie who was attempting to avoid hitting a pedestrian when the impact occurred.
Matongo started trending last month when he evoked feelings of pride among his Zimbabwean compatriots both at home and in south Africa by becoming mayor of arguably the continent’s most popular city.
But fate would not allow the son of a Zimbabwean migrant to enjoy his tenure when he got involved in the fatal crash.
He had spent the day with President Cyril Ramaphosa on an election campaign.
Family spokesperson Muzikayise Ndlovu told the media they were shattered by Matongo’s sudden death.
“We are very distraught, we are very hurt, we are still trying to come to terms with what has happened. With hope and God we will get stronger,” said Ndlovu.
ANC Joburg spokesperson Sasabona Manganye said Monday his death has affected its election campaign.
“His death has created a vacuum in the City of Joburg. This means the City of Joburg does not have members of the mayoral committee. There is no executive authority. The Speaker and city manager will have to play those particular roles for now,” Manganye said.
The ANC also said the South Africa’s governing party was now torn between preparations for the elections and the late mayor’s funeral arrangements.
Matongo will be honoured with a civic funeral on Friday to pay respect for the service rendered to the council and the city.