“Don’t Count Me in Your Nonsense” – Malema Says As He Throws Weight Behind Zim Joburg Mayor

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

FIREBRAND South African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema has thrown his weight behind recently elected Johannesburg executive mayor, Jolidee Matongo who has Zimbabwean parentage.

This comes after a significant number of South Africans vowed to reject Matongo’s appointment, starting an online campaign under the banner #WeRejectMayorofJHB barely 24 hours after he assumed the top office.

The campaign already trending on social media raised fears it could cascade into another episode of xenophobia in the neighbouring country.

Matongo was born of a Zimbabwean immigrant father and South African mother.

He was voted for the post unanimously by the South African ruling party, ANC to replace Geoffrey Makhubo who succumbed to Covid-19 complications in July.

Malema who is the latest South African political figure to support Matongo, took to his official page rubbishing as ‘nonsense’ the xenophobic comments against the newly elected Joburg mayor.

He went on to describe Matongo as his ‘black brother’ whom he grew up with.

“We grew up with Jolidee Matongo in the YL (youth league), 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,” he wrote.

Another South African opposition leader, DA president, Mmusi Maimane said it was unacceptable to oppose Matongo because of his Zimbabwean and not ideas.

“You can engage people on their ideas, on their track record of delivery as leaders, on their political choices. But xenophobia, that’s not acceptable. Not today or any other day.”

In his appointment speech, Matongo said it was important to put aside political differences and work towards improving the livelihoods of Johannesburg residents.

“We hope we will all pull together as political parties in the best interests of our residents, because ours is to serve the people of Johannesburg, put aside our political bickering and differences and put ahead the interests of the people of Johannesburg.. We must make sure the daily lived experiences of the people of Johannesburg are improved. This is not a one-man show. A team must be put together, we must review plans and everything that is on the table and make an official statement that council can engage with at the next meeting.”