- A student waiter at a popular restaurant in Tokai has died after chasing after suspected cellphone thieves.
- He reportedly jumped onto the bonnet of the getaway vehicle to prevent them from leaving, but he fell and was dragged as it sped away.
- Police have detained one of the suspects on a theft charge, but the others are still at large.
A Cape Town waiter has died after he tried to stop suspected cellphone thieves from leaving the restaurant he worked at and was flung from the bonnet of the getaway vehicle.
"He was dragged about a kilometre along the road," said Jakes restaurant owner David Ellis of the tragedy which unfolded on Monday night.
"He wasn't trying to save the world, he just felt it wasn't right that someone had taken a phone."
Ellis said the heartbreaking news was broken to Braden Cannoo's family on Monday night.
Cannoo, 22 from Lakeside, had been working at the restaurant for around a year.
'Aggressive and intentional'
Ellis said a couple, posing as customers, entered the establishment at around 18:00 and asked for a table.
Staff's suspicions were raised and the couple decided to leave. Ellis said a customer walking in spotted one of the suspects take the manager's cellphone on the reception desk.
"This poor lady semi-screamed out that someone's phone has just been taken, out of a little bit of panic."
The couple split up and the man rushed out the front door and into the back of a waiting vehicle.
"Braden, who is a studious guy, said: 'That is not your possession, you must give it back,'" Ellis recalled.
"He jumped onto the bonnet of the car, thinking they would not go anywhere, but they accelerated. A car guard said they were very aggressive and intentional."
The vehicle drove off with the waiter through the outdoor shopping centre parking lot.
"The car sped toward the Reddam, US Consulate traffic circle where he was eventually freed from under the car... It's just very tragic, unlucky and unfortunate."
Ellis said they were able to grab the female suspect and keep her behind the bathroom gate until police arrived.
Western Cape police spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, confirmed they were investigating a murder and theft case.
According to their records, three men and a female had walked into the restaurant and decided to leave before being seated.
"It was then noticed that one of the employee's cellphone was stolen. A chased ensued and the three males jumped into an Avanza while the female suspect was left behind," she said.
She said the woman was detained on a case of theft, while the men were still on the loose.
In a Facebook post, the restaurant described the young waiter and student as gentle, thoughtful and a real hero.
Customers and locals shared their shock and sadness at the turn of events.
"Oh no he served us often. What a sweet special guy. Condolences to his family, friends and loved ones," a customer posted.
Another said: "Such an incredible human. So brave and such a hero. RIP Braden."
Anyone with more information on the incident can phone Sergeant Brink on 021 702 8900 or the commander of the detective branch Captain Alexander on 082 469 2578.