Tshepo Molaoele guards cars at the entrance of The Company’s Garden in St. Johns Street, Cape Town. On 3 June 2016 at about 8pm, he noticed a Citi Golf driving slowly around. It seemed suspicious.
The car stopped and four men got out. They approached a similar looking Citi Golf, but one of the men was holding a screwdriver. This is when Molaoele realised that they were going to steal the car.
Feeling uneasy, he approached them and said “No gentlemen. What are you doing there?”
The would be thieves noticed Molaoele and offered him R1,000 for his silence. Tshepo currently stays at the Youth Solutions Shelter in District 6 where he pays R850 month. A R1,000 would cover his rent and leave him with extra spending money. Yet Molaoele decided against it.
“No gentlemen,” he said. “I’ve got a problem because there are a lot of police.”
Thinking on his feet, Tshepo asked them to leave and return a little later when the police had left. The men initially refused, but eventually they accepted his idea and drove off.
When they were out of sight, Tshepo ran off to The Big Box, a board game cafe close by, and told them the situation. They called the Central City Improvement District (CCID).
Within minutes members of the CCID arrived, and with the help of the police ran a sting operation.
Dressed up as car guards they waited for the men to return, and when they did, all four of them were promptly apprehended in the act of trying to steal a car. Tshepo was then taken to the police station to write a police report.
The four men are currently awaiting trial prisoners.
Molaoele, 27, was born in Rustenberg in North West Province. He moved to Cape Town to look for better opportunities to develop his life. He wanted to be closer to the beautiful city and Table Mountain. A deeply religious man, he left his home town in 2014, but things have not been easy. With a Matric qualification and desperate to eat, looking after cars was the only job he could find.
His earning vary wildly, from R30 to R300 a day. He works at least 12 hours a day starting at 6am. You can find Tshepo looking after your car in St. Johns Street.
Disclosure: The car that was about to be stolen was the author’s.
Published originally on GroundUp.
© 2016 GroundUp. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.