The first day of the voter registration weekend ended in tragedy with the death of new Johannesburg Mayor Jolidee Matongo in a car crash.
The 46-year-old “son of a Zimbabwe migrant” died on Saturday after attending a voter registration campaign in Soweto.
Matongo, who was elected mayor last month, on 10 August, had replaced the late Mayor Geoff Makhubo.
Makhubo had succumbed to Covid-19 a month earlier.
Commenting on the tragedy, President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was “deeply saddened” by Matongo’s tragic death.
When Matongo was elected mayor he caused a stir after he announced that he was the son of a migrant worker from Zimbabwe.
The car crash that killed Matongo happened after the mayor participated in a local government voter registration drive in his birthplace, Soweto.
He had participated in the voter registration campaign with Ramaphosa.
“The president offers his condolences to Mayor Matongo’s family, friends, colleagues and comrades, and the residents of the City of Johannesburg,” said the Presidency in a statement late on Saturday night,
Ramaphosa 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.
“Nothing could prepare any of us for this sudden loss, which has deprived our nation’s economic centre of its second Executive Mayor in two months.
“Mayor Matongo has been taken from us at a time when he was totally immersed in improving conditions and creating opportunities for all the people of Johannesburg and stakeholders in the metropolitan economy.
“Like all of us, he was looking forward to the forthcoming election, and we saw in person today that he had put his heart and soul into mobilising the people of the city to make their voices heard on 1 November.
“The time we spent together has been rendered a priceless treasure given his untimely and traumatic passing. May his soul rest in peace.”