The farmer, the robber and the taxi brigade

2017-08-15 15:14
Thanks to a taxi driver and his passengers, Kosie van der Merwe was able to recover his cellphone at a taxi rank in eMalahleni.

Thanks to a taxi driver and his passengers, Kosie van der Merwe was able to recover his cellphone at a taxi rank in eMalahleni. (Facebook)

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Mbombela - A farmer from Kinross, near Secunda in Mpumalanga, still can’t believe what happened to him when his cellphone was stolen in eMalahleni last week.

Kosie van der Merwe, 40, thought he had just become another crime statistic, but it is what followed that grabbed the attention of Facebook users, Netwerk24 reports.

Van der Merwe's Facebook post about the incident has been shared more than 5 000 times.

"If someone had told me this, I would’ve said 'not a chance, it can't be true'. It just shows that everyone is tired of racism and crime."

Van der Merwe had been in eMalahleni for his pilot’s exam. At a traffic light a man came begging for a cigarette.

"Normally one locks the doors, but my window was open. I told him I didn't smoke."

Van der Merwe was caught unaware when the man suddenly produced a knife. "I didn't stand a chance, so I gave him my phone."

Van der Merwe said the passengers in a minibus taxi nearby started hurling abuse at the robber. He [Van der Merwe] tried to make a U-turn to catch the culprit.

However, the thief disappeared into a nearby taxi rank and Van der Merwe thought he'd never see his phone again. He drove to the airport, from where he contacted his wife on someone else’s phone to tell her what had happened.

'Good people'

"She told me the guys [in the taxi] had taken my phone from the robber and called her to say the phone was at the taxi rank and that I had to fetch it there."

Van der Merwe said on the way there, he'd considered rather going to the police.

He had stopped to ask for directions when a man stopped next to his red Hilux bakkie and enquired if he was the guy looking for his cellphone.

"The man jumped in next to me and said he’d take me there. One has such preconceived ideas, but he assured me that taxi people were good people."

He arrived at the taxi rank to loud applause.

"They cheered and whistled and gave back my phone. They also showed me the knife with which the man had threatened me. They'd given him a good beating."

He said it was an Okapi knife with a 15cm blade.

The men asked if he wouldn’t buy them each a cooldrink, for their bravery.

Van der Merwe went to an ATM and withdrew R400 for them.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  good news  |  crime

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