‘It’s your wallet; you must get it back’

By Pieter van Zyl
15 March 2016

YOU's Pieter van Zyl had given his wallet up for lost after leaving it in a shopping mall bathroom – until he got a surprising phone call.

"Last weekend I left my wallet in one of the bathrooms at the V&A Waterfront shopping centre in Cape Town. I searched for it everywhere but couldn’t find it. So I made peace with the fact that I’d lost it and began to cancel my cards.

The next morning I received a “Please Call Me” from one Siyanda. I didn’t have calltime on my cellphone. Pathetic. I ignored it.

Later that day Siyanda called me from a public telephone. “Mister Pieter, I have your wallet.” He didn’t have much money and had to talk fast. He was a cleaner at the shopping centre and had found my wallet in the bathroom. He would leave it at the information desk. My R40 was still in it.

We were in Langebaan. My friend Misha Jordaan phoned back to the public telephone from which Siyanda had called and after a search Siyanda was back on the line.

“You can keep the R40 in the wallet,” I said. “Buy yourself a beer.”

“I don’t drink,” he replied.

Siyanda Soyizwaki (34), brightened my weekend and that of many others. I placed the story on my Facebook page and within minutes there were more than 100 likes, 35 comments and five shares. Scores of people wanted his phone number so they could send him airtime and money.

His employers, the management of the V&A Waterfront, saw the story on social media. “We have a monthly reward programme for our security guards and cleaners and I’ll make sure Siyanda is considered for the next one,” said Nelis du Plessis.

Siyanda was overwhelmed by the positive responses.

“Thank you, Mister Pieter. They [the management] even took a photo of me. I just looked for your number on the accounts in your wallet. There was a piece of paper from MTN with your telephone number on it. So I called you. It’s your wallet; you must get it back.”

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