SA man fights off London mugger

2012-03-12 10:20

Johannesburg - A South African man living in London has been described as a hero after taking on a mugger who had stolen a woman’s handbag.

Durban-born poet and massage therapist Neil Gevisser, 60, was leaving a west London tube station when he heard a woman screaming and saw a man running towards him, the Times reported.

The man was dressed in motorcycle gear and was running against the traffic to his scooter, which had not been turned off. Gevisser karate-kicked the scooter, causing it to fall over.

The man had apparently broken a car window and had stolen a handbag from the car.

The mugger then came up to Gevisser, who gave him a roundhouse kick to the stomach and shins.


The mugger then hobbled away. Police were on the scene within minutes but the mugger was gone.

The woman, whose handbag had been taken, found it in the scooter, which had also been stolen.

She thanked Gevisser for his heroic actions.

Gevisser is from Durban but was forced to leave South Africa in the early 70s after writing anti-apartheid poetry.  His cousin is the well-known author, Mark Gevisser, biographer of former President Thabo Mbeki.

Neil Gevisser has worked as a massage therapist with well-known tennis players like John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.  

Gevisser said he didn’t think what he had done was particularly heroic, but that he felt one shouldn’t just walk on by. He said one should intervene if something wrong was happening.

He added that he had been doing karate since his teens.

  • winston.mullany - 2012-03-12 10:32

    Nice one!!!

      Sean - 2012-03-12 10:44

      Give that man a bells !!

      Squeegee - 2012-03-12 11:21

      Come home, all is forgiven...

      Peter-Peter - 2012-03-12 13:47

      Chuck Norris likes this

  • LN - 2012-03-12 10:34

    Roundhouse kicked? Chuck Norris much?

      Marion - 2012-03-12 11:33

      Please don't liken this guy to Chuck Norris u-u-r-r-gh... Bruce Lee?

      Michael White - 2012-03-12 13:27

      \The mugger then hobbled away.\ Def more Bruce than Chuck, no one takes 2 round house kicks from Chuck and lives to tell the one even takes 1 and lives. Chuck also delivers them directly to the face. Impressive non-the-less though.

      justjimbean - 2012-03-12 14:45

      If you look in the dictionary under "dick head" there is a picture of Chuck Norris...

  • Pythagoras - 2012-03-12 10:34

    Well done old man! Enjoy your bells!

      Sharon - 2012-03-12 14:09

      Hey,hey, don't mess with a South African! We're ruff and tuff!

  • J-Man - 2012-03-12 10:42

    Roundhouse kick! Awesome!

  • Travis - 2012-03-12 10:49

    Give that man a Fully Loaded Box Meal.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-03-12 10:50

    Those who think S.A is alone with criminals there you are!!! Where i live in Ireland they are even armed.

      Michael - 2012-03-12 10:55


      Nathan Titus - 2012-03-12 11:18

      Whoever said SA is the only country with criminals you chop? It made news there, just meaning that its so uncommon there unlike in SA where its like the daily part of life

      cosmos.ndebele - 2012-03-12 11:58

      @Nathan its easy to attack me, but what im saying is based on facts, i hve spent all my adult life in the West & Im well travelled too- S.A has crime yes, but there ar people who make themselves Drama Queens out of the situation. Go to London, Prague, Moscow, Paris, Lisbon & u will see yr mistakes

      Sharon - 2012-03-12 14:17

      Smash and grab? Maybe the mugger was from South Africa as well!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-12 15:09

      @Sharon, know him personally?

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-03-12 10:58

    Great stuff! Has he been watching Chuck Norris?

  • Nigel - 2012-03-12 11:07

    well done dude, a hero & an anti- apartheid activist, wow Helen Zille is not the only one then.

      Squeegee - 2012-03-12 11:21

      I wish she would give certain ANCYL members a roundhouse kick!

      Marion - 2012-03-12 11:34

      Helen would have ridden over him with her bike. :-)))

  • Jacqui - 2012-03-12 11:19

    He probably had enough training while living here.

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-03-12 11:43

    "he felt one shouldn’t just walk on by. He said one should intervene if something wrong was happening" Absolutely disagree. I'd never risk my life to save a total stranger's handbag. The benefit is not worth the potential cost. We live in different times now.

      TSR01 - 2012-03-12 12:42

      Uninhibited crime prospers. When we stand together, we stand strong. Oppose injustice, or support it through disregarding it.

      Luke - 2012-03-12 13:04

      It can happen to anyone, so even if you don't act, you're also at risk!

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-03-12 13:21

      I still stand by my opinion...replaceable material things are not worth risking my life for.

      Emily-Jane Elson - 2012-03-12 13:35

      If the guy is unarmed and I felt I could take him on, I would..

      Ettienne - 2012-03-12 13:49

      Bloody coward!!!! It has nothing to do with saving a handbag. This man showed grit, morals and courage. Something you clearly need a healthy dose of. The world is in the state it's in because of spineless hippies like you. Why don't you grow a pair and take yourself out of the gene pool and do the world a favour, for once in your pathetic existence.

  • kasamkelo - 2012-03-12 12:01


  • David - 2012-03-12 14:19

    We Durbanites are a tough breed

  • Stan - 2012-03-12 15:16

    London thugs!!!

  • Strix.Mann - 2012-03-12 17:52

    nice 1,Gevisser uMzekezeke.

  • Paul - 2012-03-15 13:18

    @JohncarlosBiza : Pussy , even women are showing more guts than you you yellow bellied cockroach ....

  • leslie.rabie - 2012-03-15 14:42

    I am sorry... But I had such a good Laugh.. Just imagined a old ballie doing Karate in London's Busy street... Judo Chop!

  • mzijimmym - 2012-04-17 17:56


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