The wife of the late executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Jolidee Matongo, said her husband’s funeral in Finetown Hall, Johannesburg, was something she never imagined would happen.
She had her message read out by Mpho Matsepe.
In it, she said she never imagined attending her husband’s funeral.
“It is a bitter pill to swallow,” she said.
The couple met in high school and her husband consistently showed up for his wife’s choir performances.
“My birthday and anniversary will never be the same again because you always ensured that these days were celebrated and given the prominence they deserve…
“Papa Joel, I am grateful for giving me the love you have given me and for our son. You were truly a unique breed … my humble, kind husband who always had a smile on his face.”
Ms Matongo said she would hold on to her husband’s mantra: “God will provide.”
Those in attendance included ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and provincial premier David Makhura.
Mashatile said the loss of Matongo still cut deep and this would likely be the case for many weeks and months to come.
“It deeply pains us that our comrade Jolly is no more. He has left us too soon while we were expecting so much from him.”
He said Matongo’s company was rare: a dependable colleague and a servant to the people. Mashatile added that the late mayor put the people’s interests first and that in the upcoming local election the ANC would be the “only party that can deliver service delivery for all”.
“We must own up to our challenges, we must not seek to hide our challenges from the people and accept our mistakes,” he said.
Matongo died last weekend following a car accident. Before his passing, he had spent a full day in Soweto with President Cyril Ramaphosa on the campaign trail.
Matongo was elected unopposed last month following the death of his predecessor, Geoff Makhubo.
Ramaphosa visited Matongo’s family on Thursday to pay his last respects.