Councillors and mayoral committee members spoke of Executive Mayor Amos Masondo in glowing terms at the opening of council, where he gave his annual state of the City address.
THIS year’s official opening of council proved to be a rather emotional affair, with various City officials fighting back tears as they bid farewell to Executive Mayor Amos Masondo.
Executive mayor Amos Masondo lays a wreath during the opening of Council proceedingsExecutive mayor Amos Masondo lays a wreath before delivering the State of the City AddressMasondo used the occasion to give what is expected to be his last state of the City address, after having served two five-year terms as mayor. Voters go to the polls in May for local government elections, signalling the end of the current term.
Members of the mayoral committee and City officials fought back tears as they expressed their heartfelt gratitude and said their goodbyes to Masondo, who refused to rate his performance as mayor.
But he did express his appreciation for the opportunity to have served the people of Joburg for two terms. “As executive mayor it has been an honour to work with elected councillors and dedicated and capable administrators. It was indeed a privilege to serve the residents and citizens of Johannesburg.”
His words inspired other mayoral committee members to talk about their experiences during their deployments and how Masondo had positively sown in each and every life as a leader and as a father.
The member for environment corporate and shared services, Matshidiso Mfikoe, who is also the youngest of the 10 members, thanked Masondo for appointing her even though deploying her was a risk because she was young and still had to learn the ropes of being a political head of a portfolio. “He [Masondo] has been a father to me, a good leader and a slave driver,” she said. “When we wanted to give up, he held our hands and told us that we have a mandate to serve communities.”
Roslynn Greeff, the political head of development, planning and urban management, said it was an absolute honour for her to serve under Masondo, a man of such humility.
Members of the JMPD parade during the opening of CouncilMembers of the JMPD parade during the opening of CouncilGreeff, who fought back tears, said she could not imagine council meetings without Masondo, and she jokingly warned him that he must make time for her even after he had left office because she would still ask his advice.
All the committee members seemed to agree that the mayor was a man of high morals and integrity. His passion for people and service was also undeniable, according to the member for transport, Rehana Moosajee.
City manager Mavela Dlamini knew the mayor as a man who did not accept the statement, “It cannot be done.”
After the touching speeches, Masondo led a march for the salute and wreath-laying ceremony. He was accompanied by his wife, Khosi Masondo; the Speaker of council, Nkele Ntingane; the mayoral committee member for community safety, Elginah Ndhlovu; Dlamini; and the heads of the Johannesburg metro police department and emergency management services, Chris Ngcobo and Audrey Gule.
The wreaths were laid in silence, but were immediately followed by music from the South African Police Brass Band, which ushered off the entourage with song. The wreaths were laid to remember past struggle heroes.
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