UPDATE - Mayor Of Johannesburg Killed In Car Accident - City Authorities

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th September, 2021) Jolidee Matongo, the newly-elected Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city, has died in a car accident , the city authorities said.

"The City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor, Councillor Jolidee Matongo passes away in a car accident in Lenasia on Saturday, 18 September 2021," the Office of the Executive Mayor said in a statement, adding that "Matongo was traveling with two of his VIP protectors at the time of accident."

According to the release, the mayor's bodyguards were both injured.

Matongo, 46, was returning from work in Soweto when the accident happened. He had spent the day campaigning alongside South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier David Makhura, the mayor's office said.

"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," Ramaphosa said on Twitter.

The president praised Matongo's efforts during the African National Congress (ANC) party's campaign event, saying that the mayor wanted to mobilize people to make their voices heard in the upcoming local government elections, scheduled for November.

"I am shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Johannesburg Mayor, Jolidee Matongo. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues in the ANC. politics must always come last in these moments. He was taken far too soon," former mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba said on Twitter commenting on the tragic accident.

Matongo was appointed mayor on August 10, succeeding Geoff Makhubo, who died in July of Covid-19 complications.