Cape Town - MyCiTi bus driver Siphelo Maqubela is Sea Point resident Sharon Russak’s ‘hero’ for finding and returning her purse which contained her jewellery including her diamond wedding ring and earrings, as well as cash, credit cards, her driver’s licence and her identity document.
Russak had accidentally dropped her purse when she got out of her car on Main Road in Sea Point at about 17:00 on Monday 11 June 2018.
Maqubela, who was on duty driving the 108 route from Hout Bay along Sea Point Main Road to the CBD, noticed the purse lying on the ground next to a parked car.
He decided to stop the bus and pick up the purse.
"I didn’t open the purse immediately. I continued with my route. When I eventually opened the purse and saw the jewellery, I actually became scared. I knew I had to return it to the owner," Maqubela said.
"I don’t have Facebook so I asked one of my passengers to try and find Sharon on Facebook using her name from the ID. The passenger then messaged her via Facebook to let her know that I found her purse and to give her my cell number," explained Mr Maqubela.
When Russak received the message, she had not realised that her purse was gone.
"After my appointment, I saw a Facebook message to please contact someone with regard to my purse. At first I thought maybe I was somehow pick-pocketed because how could a bus driver have my purse," she said.
Russak’s husband Steve then made contact with Maqubela. They arranged to meet each other at the MyCiTi bus stop in Camps Bay, as Mr Maqubela was making his way back to Hout Bay.
"He returned the full contents of my purse but most importantly my diamond wedding ring, another ring and valuable earrings, which are of sentimental value to me. Siphelo, thank you, thank you and bless you for your honesty. You are a credit to MyCiTi and you have restored my faith that there are good, honest people out there," said Mrs Russak.
On Wednesday 20 June 2018 Mayco Member for Transport and Urban Development, Brett Herron, handed over a certificate of gratitude to Mr Maqubela.
"This certificate is a token of our appreciation for being an outstanding ambassador for MyCiTi. You have gone the extra mile and we commend you for your honesty, integrity and your efforts in reuniting Mrs Russak with her belongings. You are an asset to our team," said Councillor Herron.
At the handover, Mrs Russak said her husband was initially upset when he heard that she had lost her purse because it contained her wedding ring.
Mr Maqubela jokingly replied: "Yes, I saved the marriage."
The couple, who have been married for 23 years, laughed.
Mr Maqubela, father of two children, said he appreciated the certificate.
"I like to help people. I always ensure that I return people’s belongings to them and that is what we are taught here at MyCiTi. I love my job because I love driving. Our passengers need to believe in MyCiTi. They need to know they can trust us," said Mr Maqubela.