Malema refuses to reject Zimbabwean linked Johannesburg mayor
Jolidee Matongo was elected unopposed by Johannesburg councillors on Tuesday, replacing Geoff Makhubo who succumbed to Covid-19 last month.
Malema said, "We grew up with Jodilee Matango in the YL, and today, we are canvassed to reject him because his father was Zimbabwean. I'm sorry, don't count me in your nonsense. Politically we disagree, but he remains a black brother of mine."
We grew up with Jodilee Matango in the YL, and today, we are canvassed to reject him because his father was Zimbabwean. I'm sorry, don't count me in your nonsense. Politically we disagree, but he remains a black brother of mine. #NoToXenophobia pic.twitter.com/yUVYTPBn3O— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 12, 2021
Already outspoken critic Advocate Ike Khumalo who was recently arrested on six counts of inciting public violence at a time South Africa experienced massive looting and vandalism by protestors declared they will not recognise Matongo.
speaking on South African broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, Khumalo said foreigners must go back to their countries and since then the campaign against Matongo has been trending on social media.
"I blame officials, I blame foreign nationals, when they were free in their own countries in the 60s what were they doing not building," said Khumalo.
"They did not build roads, they come here and tell us we are lazy over things that we built during apartheid. Some of us lost our youth fighting in the streets. When Oliver Tambo said make this country ungovernable in the 80s, we did not mean to liberate this country so that foreign nationals to come over and take this country. People must go back if they are not so lazy, go back and build their countries," he said.
"We should not be misled by the Geneva Convention, Israel is preaching liberalism but there are big borders protecting the country, Europe has Brexit and you have Donald Trump building walls."
Khumalo added countries with people enjoying public services in South Africa should be made to pay.
"Most of the time when you open borders you do not attract the people you thought you will attract. In 1990 we thought we people were going to come with special skills, little did we know that we would have beggars, grandmas. South Africans can beg as much as they want but people cannot come here to beg in our cities. They cannot access health care services, they should have built theirs, I cannot go to America because I want to access what their taxpayers have paid for. Their countries must pay for this access," he said.
Matongo was described as "capable and fit" on Wednesday after anti-immigration activists criticised his election.
In his acceptance speech, Matongo proudly announced his Zimbabwean roots stating: "I Jolidee Matongo, the son of the late Zimbabwean immigrant Edmond Matongo, do hereby accept the nomination for a position of executive mayor of our city."
Matongo's election triggered a volley of social media protests from anti-immigration activists who ignored that his mother was South African and he was born and bred in Soweto.
The hashtag #WeRejectMayorOfJHB was trending throughout the day as those in favour and in opposition sparred.
"I never thought I would see a day where a Zimbabwean is at the helm of Johannesburg. This is a hostile takeover by foreigners. We must stand up now," tweeted @Shokwakhe16.
Twitter user @MdavazoO threatened that "masses" would protest if the ANC does not recall Matongo.
"The ANC must do the right thing and recall this gentleman before the masses take to the streets," he wrote.
Matonga was born in 1975 in Soweto, a working class neighbourhood of Johannesburg, South Africa's commercial capital.
He holds a postgraduate degree in public management from Unisa, a diploma in public management, and a postgraduate diploma in management from the Milpark Business School.
He was a member of the Soweto Student Congress and the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) before moving on to serve as the regional head of communications in the ANC for eight years.
He served as a member of the mayoral committee on finance during Makhubo's short-lived tenure as mayor.
South Africa's transport minister Fikile Mbalula was one of the many who sprang to Matongo's defence.
"Johannesburg has a new mayor: congratulations to Jolidee Matongo for being voted unopposed by the JHB Council. The work of servicing the people of Johannesburg continues. He is capable and fit," Mbalula tweeted.
Africa's most industrialised nation, South Africa, is going through an economic downturn and rising jobless numbers. Unemployed locals have violently targeted foreigners – particularly black Africans – accusing them of taking up their opportunities.