Cape Town - A MyCiTi bus driver has been hailed as a hero for "going the extra mile" by tracking down and returning valuables accidentally lost by a Cape Town woman.
Siphelo Maqubela came to the City of Cape Town's attention for his extraordinary actions in finding and returning Sharon Russak’s purse which contained valuables including jewellery, 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 in Sea Point at about 5pm on 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.
"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 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 and they arranged to meet each other at the MyCiTi bus stop in Camps Bay, as 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 Russak.
Maqubela's brave actions did not go unnoticed, with the City of Cape Town bestowing him with a certificate in recognition of what he did.
Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, explained that the certificate was a token of appreciation to Maqubela for having gone the "extra mile".
"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.
A humbled Maqubela, at the ceremony, 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 Maqubela.