Johannesburg - The wife of the late City of Joburg Mayor, Jolidee Matongo, has paid an emotional tribute to her beloved soul mate.
Kedibone Matongo could not contain her grief, crying loudly as Mpho Motshepe, read the tribute on her behalf at his funeral today (Friday).
“Never in a million years did I think he would be in this position, it is a very bitter pill to swallow papa. We met while I was in high school and I was a member of a choir and you showed up, and was supportive during competitions. My birthday and our anniversary will never be the same because you always made sure that these days were celebrated with the prominence they deserve. I am grateful for the love you have given me and our son,” said Kedibone.
“On Sunday when I returned from viewing your lifeless body, I prayed. I prayed a prayer that turned to what I thought of a conversation with you and I heard your voice that said ‘vuka’ wake up, the whole of Joburg is looking at you talking to my face, ’vuka’ wake up and have courage.
“That conversation happened at 3am in the morning. I soaked myself in the bath and I felt the load on my shoulder chipping off. Papa Jo, my humble, calm husband who always had a smile on his face. The pain I am feeling now I don’t know when and how it will subside but I will hold on to what you have provided. You have spoiled me, now I have to be a mother and a father to my son,” read Kedibone’s message.
Motongo’s sister Ethel Twala said he was a humble person who really cared about people.
“What I am asking ANC people is that they must learn from my brother. He was not after positions but cared about the people of Johannesburg. He was very humble and a loving person. On Thursday he had played me a song titled ‘wena nkosi uyazi, loosely translated means, ”only you God knows,” said Twala.
ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile, who paid tribute on behalf of the ANC, said up to this day, the pain cut too deep, and was likely to be the case for many weeks and months to come.
“It deeply pains us that our beloved comrade, Matongo is no more. It deeply pains me that today we are speaking of him in the past tense, it deeply pains us that he has left us too soon while we were expecting so much from him. Our hearts are even heavier on this day to bid him farewell. To many of us it is finally dawning that our beloved gentle giant Matongo has departed for good,” Mashatile said.
He said the best way to honour the fallen comrade was by voting for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections.
“There shall be no better gift to comrade Matongo, than for the ANC becoming victorious in the City Of Joburg and victory in the country. Inspired by the legacy of Matongo let us go back to our branches, wards and communities in general and spread a message that the ANC will show better service delivery for all,” Mashatile said.
The three of Matongo’s close friend including Jacob Khawe and Dada Morero said they had learnt a lot from Matongo politically and about brotherhood; they also reminisced about his love for Orlando Pirates.
Matongo’s mother, relatives, friends, and ANC top officials including Zizi Kodwa, Pule Mabe, David Masondo, Mduduzi Manana, Mzwandile Masina, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, MEC Lebogang Maile, MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Jacob Khawe, ANC Johannesburg region secretary Dada Morero and alliance leaders were also present.
Matongo, aged 46, passed away in a motor vehicle accident last week, after he had participated in a local government voter registration drive in his birthplace, Soweto, alongside President Ramaphosa.