A car guardian angel

2014-04-01 00:00

A CITY motorist has a parking attendant to thank for the recovery of his laptop computer and wallet, which were stolen out of the bakkie he had just parked.

Fortunately for the man, Sbongile Maphumulo was on duty.

Maphumulo, of Ladysmith, who works as a parking attendant for Panza­score, which manages parking bays in the city, said the driver of the grey Corsa bakkie had parked on Church Street and given her a R100 note to pay for his parking.

She said the driver had left on foot to conclude his business in the city centre, saying he would collect his change when he returned.

Maphumulo left her spot for a short period while getting change for the R100, and on her return saw that two men had broken into the bakkie.

“They were running into the Capital Centre and I took off my sandals to chase them properly,” she said.

“I was scared to take them on, but on the other hand what would I have said to the car owner, because he trusted me to look after his car until he came back?”

Maphumulo said the fear of getting into trouble if things went missing under her watch gave her the courage, and speed, to run after the thieves, who had stolen a laptop and wallet from the bakkie.

“Fortunately, as I was running after the thief who had the goods, the bakkie driver realised that I was after people who had broken into his vehicle and also assisted with the chase,” she said.

Maphumulo said they were able to catch up to the man with the laptop and wallet. However, the man made good his escape after dropping the items on the floor.

“I was tipped R10 by the driver, but all I wanted was to ensure that the stolen items were returned, because it is my duty to ensure the safety of the vehicles under my watch,” she said.

Maphumulo said the thief promised to come back for her and she was afraid he would make good on his threat. She had informed her supervisor, who assured her that CCV camera operators would keep a look-out to ensure she was safe in future.

“At the time I was scared, but now I am fine because I know that we are protected and other people were willing to assist,” she said.

Rienus Niemand, of Panzascore Parking Management, said, “We are very much proud of her and we have given her a reward for her courage.”

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