Bus driver with a heart of gold

2018-06-28 14:59
Steven and Sharon Russak with Siphelo Maqhubela and Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.

Steven and Sharon Russak with Siphelo Maqhubela and Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.

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A MyCiTi bus driver has been rewarded for his honesty. The driver, Siphelo Maqhubela, tracked down the owner of a lost purse, which he found in Sea Point.

Maqhubela was driving the bus along his route, between the Civic Centre and Hangberg, on Monday 11 June at around 17:00 when he spotted a purse lying next to a car on Main Road.

He stopped the bus and retrieved the purse.

“I realised someone had dropped their purse and I realised I must save [them from that]. It’s not nice to drop something,” Maqhubela explains.

He opened the purse and found the driver’s licence of Sharon Russak, and asked one of his passengers to track her down through Facebook.

At the time, Maqhubela had no idea the purse held cash and some of Russak’s jewellery, including her wedding ring, which she had put there for safekeeping before an appointment.

Russak says she didn’t even realise she had dropped the purse, and only discovered it was missing once she returned home.

Shortly afterwards, she received the social media message asking her to contact Maqhubela.

Her husband, Steven, then raced to meet with Maqhubela who was still driving his route.

Maqhubela waited for him in Camps Bay, and the purse was returned within an hour and a half, Russak explains.

Russak then took to social media to express her gratitude. The post, which had over 100 likes and several shares, was forwarded on to Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.

“I wanted people to know there are good people out there,” says Russak.

“There was not one cent missing. I had hoped to get my ID documents back, but I didn’t expect everything to be in the purse.”

The incident prompted Herron to hand over a certificate of appreciation to Maqhubela on Wednesday 20 June, saying his “simple gesture of honesty” represents the MyCiTi brand.

“It’s heart-warming and encouraging [to hear stories like this]. Maqhubela is a fantastic brand ambassador. We are very proud of MyCiTi. It’s a world-class service … but we still get complaints. When someone takes the time to write about the integrity of one of the drivers, it’s amazing,” says Herron.

Maqhubela’s supervisor, Asharaf Julie, says Maqhubela is always rated in the top 10 out of 130 drivers.

“We are very strict on driving and he’s one of the guys I can send out onto the road without worrying. A person’s honesty says a lot about their character,” he says.

Maqhubela, a Delft resident, has been a MyCiTi bus driver for the past two years – an occupation he has always dreamed of.

“I love driving and I love talking to my passengers,” he says.

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