Malema won't be dragged into 'nonsense' about Joburg mayor Jolidee Matongo

13 August 2021 - 07:00 By unathi nkanjeni
EFF leader Julius Malema has weighed in on comments made about Jolidee Matongo. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema has weighed in on comments made about Jolidee Matongo. File photo.

EFF leader Julius Malema is the latest politician to defend newly appointed Johannesburg mayor Jolidee Matongo against xenophobic comments. 

Matongo has been a victim of attacks on social media after he revealed that his father is from Zimbabwe.

His remarks saw his name and the hashtag #WeRejectMayorOfJHB top the trending list.  

Malema said he grew up with Matongo in the ANC Youth League and he was a “black brother” of his.

“We grew up with Jolidee Matongo in the YL [Youth League], and today, we are canvassed to reject him because his father was Zimbabwean?” he said. 

“I’m sorry, don’t count me in your nonsense. Politically we disagree, but he remains a black brother of mine.”

Attempts by TimesLIVE to get further comment from Malema were unsuccessful at the time of publishing this story. Any comment will be included once received. 

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said Matongo was “capable and fit” for the job. 

“The work of servicing the people of Johannesburg continues. He is capable and fit,” said Mbalula.

City speaker Nonceba Molwele, slammed suggestions that Matongo is a foreign national. 

“There's a perception out there that the executive mayor is not a citizen. I want to put it into perspective that the executive mayor has been born and bred in the country, in Johannesburg in particular,” said Molwele 

Matongo replaced the late former mayor Geoff Makhubo, who succumbed to Covid-19-related complications last month. 

During his appointment speech, Matongo vowed to hit the ground running to ensure better lives for the residents while working alongside different political parties.

“We hope we will all pull together as political parties in the best interests of our residents, because ours is to serve the people of Johannesburg, put aside our political bickering and differences and put ahead the interests of the people of Johannesburg,” he said. 

“We must make sure the daily lived experiences of the people of Johannesburg are improved.

“This is not a one-man show. A team must be put together, we must review plans and everything that is on the table and make an official statement that council can engage with at the next meeting.”