South Africa’s vibrant opposition leader Julius Malema has defended newly elected mayor for Johannesburg from a barrage of attacks because of his Zimbabwean roots.
South Africans took to social media platforms denouncing the unopposed election of Jodilee Matongo, the Soweto born son of a Zimbabwean migrant worker, Edward.
Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said he will not be drawn into xenophobic attacks against his former ANC Youth League colleague.
In his acceptance speech, Matongo made sure he reminded everyone that he is the son of a Zimbabwean migrant.
South Africans however did not take lightly the appointment and took to social media to start a trend. #WeRejectMayorOfJoburg soon gained momentum.
“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,” Malema posted on his Twitter handle.
The defence comes after ActionSA leader and former mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba said Matongo is not going to offer anything new.
“Matongo can offer Joburg residents nothing new except continued corruption and broken service delivery. For Johannesburg to undergo a true renewal, residents must be given their constitutionally enshrined opportunity to go to the polls and finally vote the ANC out,” said Mashaba
Matongo’s name was the most preferred by the ANC in the province after the selection of three names, including Salphina Mulaudzi and Mpho Moerane, for a mayoral candidate.
The 46-year-old is a Soweto-born former student activist. He served as the MMC for Finance under Makhubo.