Tariq Booley, 34, of Mandala. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - A Mitchells Plain man who stopped to assist a distressed mom after her car broke down on Jakes Gerwel Drive has been hailed a hero by his community.

When Tariq Booley, 34, stopped to help a woman he believed was in danger, he had no idea he would become a local hero overnight.

Pepita Williams, 49, said her worst nightmare came true on Monday morning. Her Toyota RunX broke down at the Highlands Drive intersection and she had no clue what to do.

The widowed mom of two from Strandfontein said she was returning from dropping her 11-year-old son at school shortly after 9am.

“The car was making sounds when I left the school. It’s an old car and I am a widow for nearly four years so maintenance is not something I know of,” he said.

“As I went over the intersection, the car just cut out. I decided to get out and push, but I was so scared and started to pray.”

She said Tariq pulled his car over and immediately helped her.

“He said ‘Aunty, it is not safe here’ and he tried to get the car to start. We thought it was the battery, but it was actually the alternator,” said Pepita.

Jakes Gerwel Drive. Picture: Supplied

“My neighbour came to help and we needed to tow the car and Tariq even went to the shop to buy tow rope for me.

“I was so thankful because that intersection is very dangerous and he stayed with me the whole time.

“He told me he is a plumber and electrician and is self-employed and I know if I need work done I would call an honest person like him.”

Pepita said she was overwhelmed by the kind act, but was not prepared for Tariq’s response. “When I told him how thankful I am, he just asked me to keep him in my prayers and said, ‘My mommy also drives on her own and if something like this happens to her, I hope someone will also stop’.”

The grateful woman shared her story on Facebook. It was shared over a thousand times by yesterday.

Tariq, a dad of three from Mandalay, told the Daily Voice: “I was behind her and as I came around, I wanted to tell the driver to put on their hazards and then I saw it was a woman and she needed help.That place is very dangerous for robberies, so I pulled over.”

The humble man said he did not expect all the attention he is receiving on social media.

“I am very surprised. I was just doing what any decent person would do.”

Daily Voice