Brave Law Enforcement and public safety officers who recovered an Irish tourist’s necklace in the Cape Town Central City, after she had been mugged, have been recognised for their efforts by Cape Town Tourism.
On the Grand Parade on Wednesday 7 March, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement officers heard what they called “frantic screams” belonging to a woman who had just been robbed of her 18-carat gold chain worth R10 000.
The officers saw a woman on the ground and a man running away from the scene, being pursued by another person.
The officers joined a Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) officer who was already giving chase and their combined efforts resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old suspect, says CCID spokesperson Carola Koblitz.
On hearing about the tourist’s ordeal and subsequent happy ending, Cape Town Tourism liaised with the CCID’s safety and security department to identify the City and CCID officers, so that Cape Town Tourism could personally thank them, says Koblitz.
On Thursday 15 March, Ridwaan Nero, the City’s Law Enforcement officer, and Abongile Mavela, the CCID’s public safety officer, were handed tokens of appreciation received from Cape Town Tourism for their heroic efforts.
Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, says: “For many years, negative perceptions of safety for tourists in Cape Town have remained one of the biggest challenges in attracting visitors. The quick actions of the City’s Law Enforcement and CCID public safety officers in apprehending the mugger, and returning the necklace to the tourist, allow us to address the safety and security perceptions head-on. We would like to thank every single protection officer out there for their continued commitment and sacrifices in making Cape Town a safe city for citizens and visitors alike.”
The officers’ gift bags – which were handed over by Muneeb Hendricks, CCID safety and security manager, acting on behalf of Cape Town Tourism – included tickets to the City’s well-known open-top City Sightseeing red bus so they can unwind and explore the Mother City on their day off.
According to Nero, who made the arrest on the day, the suspect involved in this particular incident, as well as another who committed a similar crime a day later (9 March), have since been sent to Pollsmoor Prison.
“It was definitely a team effort and is because of the long relationship established over the years between us as Law Enforcement and the CCID’s public safety officers. We work well together and have a passion for what we do. And this also resulted in us making a similar arrest on Friday just opposite the Castle of Good Hope when a tourist who had been in town for the Cape Town Cycle Tour was robbed of her necklace as well. She was with her son and we gave chase with CCID officers, returned her necklace and advised her to open a case.”
Prior to becoming a City Law Enforcement officer, Nero was employed with the CCID, first as a public safety officer and then later a shift manager. Serving and protecting the public has become his way of life as he’s also involved in a community policing forum in his own community of Mitchell’s Plain.
Mavela, who assisted in apprehending the suspect, has been with the CCID for three years.
“My uniform says public safety, and I see myself as an ambassador. I’m here to help in whatever way I can to make sure the public are safe in the CBD. While I’m happy to be recognised, I’m just glad we were able to help the lady; it’s never good to see someone crying.”