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Is mayorship in the City of Joburg cursed?

The late former City of Joburg mayor, Mpho Moerane. Image: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

The late former City of Joburg mayor, Mpho Moerane. Image: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 20, 2022


Following the death of the third former City of Joburg mayor in about a year questions have been asked about whether the position is cursed.

Mpho Moerane succumbed to death on Wednesday evening, due to injuries sustained in a car crash.

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He served a brief stint as mayor after the passing away of former mayor Jolidee Matonga last year.

There were murmurings that there was foul play and witchcraft related to Moerane’s accident, however, his family denied the claims.

According to the Moerane's family, his accident was caused by a rock that he drove into in Bowling Avenue.

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He was on his way from a meeting to his home in Bryanston when his car came across a rock.

Joburg ANC spokesperson Sasa Manganye said casting aspersions on one another would not help the party but would divide the party.

“We call upon our members and the community that we must stop spreading conspiracy theories that have no basis.

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“We should allow the ANC and the family to mourn without distractions.

“As rough as it is, we should understand that accidents happen,” Manganye said.

Manganye said it was unfair for people to blame Moerane's political opponents for his death.

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Sangoma and African spiritual teacher Gogo Dineo Ndlanzi said when she heard about his passing, she wondered if there was a spiritual war going on in the country.

"You know when I heard that yet another mayor had passed on, I felt that something spiritually was not aligned.

“It is indeed true that we need to start becoming concerned as a country about the sudden losses of lives that are occupying the political office space,“ Ndlanzi said.

She said nothing happens in isolation in the spiritual world and that sangomas say things are interconnected and interrelated.

"We are systematic beings so even though we are physical beings, we are also economic and spiritual beings.

“The ANC as an organisation that was part of the liberation movement in part… What is happening is that the ANC even five years into democracy, the blood of our ancestors has been shed,“ Ndlanzi said.

The sangoma said there were things that the ANC has neglected, including its understanding of African values; not doing much about the restoration of the African spiritual psyche, in terms of the liberation and emancipation; and have not done any forms of rituals to cleanse the country nationally of the blood shed that was lost during the apartheid era.

“In African spirituality when something like that happens, we need some sort of ritual.

“What is needed is some sort of purification and cleansing nationally and not only provincially because every time there’s a new president, there is always blood shed.

“Look at what happened recently with Marikana. We have not stopped the cycle of violence. Look also at the looting. These incidences are not happening in isolation.

“These are red flags and indicators that for ANC to remember its Africanness,” Ndlanzi said.

She said that if the country did not know how to restore order in the African way, South Africa will have a problem.

Meanwhile, tributes continued to pour in for Moerane, who was described by many as humble.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was a sad day for Joburg and the nation as South Africa mourns the “vibrant, young” leader.

“Moerane was an entrepreneurial, multi-skilled leader who placed his talents and creative energy at the disposal of the citizens of Joburg,” Ramaphosa said.

Gauteng Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile said Moerane had distinguished himself as one of the consummate and hard-working public representatives.

Maile said Moerane was leading a highly effective and servant orientated opposition in making sure that service delivery reaches Joburg’s citizens, especially in poor and working class communities.

ANC Greater Joburg Region secretary Dada Morero said Moerane will be remembered for his lifelong activism, and for dedicating his youth to the ANC.

“He leaves behind a legacy of having championed the call by former ANC president Oliver Tambo to make apartheid unworkable and our country ungovernable in his days as a youth activist.

“His passing is a great loss to the movement, and society at large.

“We are forever grateful for his contribution in bettering the ANC both in the government and as a movement,” said Morero.

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