Bashers of Jolidee Matongo’s SA citizenship are paid to do so - Dada Morero
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Johannesburg - The ANC in Joburg has lashed out on the detractors of newly-elected mayor Jolidee Matongo on social media, accusing them of having strong financial backers to tarnish the image of the first citizen of the city.
The outraged ANC regional secretary Dada Morero was reacting to a campaign “#WeRejectMayorOfJHB” which was circulated on social media, saying it was a malicious afrophobic campaign against Matongo.
“This hashtag is generally led by faceless people and therefore does not represent the people of Johannesburg. Based on our investigation, these are politically aligned paid-up tweets to purport aspersions on the executive mayor through propaganda that seeks to mislead society and characterise the executive mayor as a foreigner in his motherland.
“The executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Jolidee Matongo, is a 46-year-old born and bred in Dube Soweto, South African. He commenced his schooling career at Sizanani Primary School, where his political activism started, ignited by a love for justice, opposed to the fascist apartheid regime,” Morero said.
He said his party was calling on public servants, the residents of Joburg and all sectors of society to work with the appointed mayoral committee led by Matongo to deliver services and better the lives of the people of in the city.
Despite the “malicious campaign”, Morero said his party welcomed Matongo’s decision to appoint an inclusive mayoral committee.
Matongo made minor changes to the mayoral committee set up by former mayor Geoff Makhubo prior to his passing last month.
Matongo brought back Matshidiso Mfikoe, who replaced him as the new MMC for finance, and Thomas Mofokeng was appointed as the MMC for economic development.
Mfikoe served as an MMC for environment and infrastructure services department (EISD) under former Mayor Parks Tau before the 2016 local government elections.
Mofokeng replaces Lawrence Khoza.
The EISD’s new MMC is Mpho Moerane, while Mlungisi Mabaso was deployed as Housing MMC and Helen Makhuba as Transport MMC. Eunice Mgcina remained as MMC for health and social development.
Also retained in their portfolios are group corporate and shared services MMC Loyiso Masuku, community development MMC Margaret Arnolds, development planning MMC Thapelo Amad and public safety MMC Mally Mokoena.
“The new list of MMCs, which was a result of consultations with the ongoing Government of Local Unity (GLU) partnership in the City, contains no surprises as the majority of members remained unchanged in the portfolios they were assigned by the late executive mayor, Cllr Geoffrey Makhubo.
“The choice of MMCs is in support of the theme of continuation with the implementation of the GLU's priorities, which are aligned to the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040,” Matongo said.
According to Morero, the ANC believed that the collective constituted by the ANC-led GLU will ensure that Johannesburg remained as the World Class African City and a strategic centre and hub of the African economy.
“The collective led by Executive Mayor Matongo will continue with the vision which the late comrade Geoff Makhubo understood well and was executing perfectly.”
The IFP in Gauteng also welcomed Matongo’s decision, including his retention of two of their members in his executive.
IFP Gauteng chairperson Bonginkosi Dhlamini said that they trust that Matongo would uphold the highest standards of public office.
“The new mayor was part of the administration led by former Mayor Geoff Makhubo, who died from Covid-19-related complications last month. We are therefore confident that he will step in naturally and continue with the great work that the Honourable Makhubo had started.
“We wish him and everything the best and pledge our support to his administration, as part of the Government of Local Unity (GLU),” Dhlamini said.
He also took the opportunity to congratulate their councillors MMC Mabaso and MMC Makhuba on their reappointments.
“We are confident that the pair will continue to contribute towards an enhanced quality of life for all residents of the City,” Dhlamini said.