Uber global citizen

Credit: Uber

Uber driver and passenger hailed as heroes after foiling muggers in JHB

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. This passenger’s story about how he and his Uber driver risked their lives to stop a crime is awe-inspiring.

Uber global citizen

Credit: Uber

An Uber driver and his passenger did their best Batman and Robin impression this weekend after they bravely decided to intervene when they drove past a mugging.

Nkululeko Ngubane relayed the incredible story on his Twitter page. He jumped into Thato’s car for a routine trip across Johannesburg, but when they made their way across Queen Elizabeth Bridge, they were startled by a harrowing incident unfolding right in front of them.

How an Uber driver and passenger stopped a mugging

The passenger knew he had to do something. He asked the Uber driver to pull over so they could try and help the victims, or at least reclaim their belongings. Thato didn’t need any encouragement, as the pair sprung from the vehicle and approached the three muggers.

Here’s how Ngubane relayed the series of events to us – it includes the quick-wits of Thato behind the wheel, and fantastic double-bluff about gun Nkululeko’s gun possession:

“Thato turned on his brights and stepped on the brakes hard to create a scare. We then got out of the car, then the gentleman who’s bag had been taken pointed to the thug who had stolen it from him.”

“I was amazed to see the bag was being stashed under the jacket the thug was wearing: Of course, we had to be cautious, taking into account that we had no weapons with us – but we did not want to give it away to the thugs, and I remember saying to Thato ‘we don’t have the choice just give me my gun’.

“It was amazing to see the thug letting go of the bag and the gentleman grabbed it from him. The thugs slowly moved away not to give away to the onlookers that they’ve been “defeated”, and they also thought that we were going to leave the couple there and perhaps have another chance to pounce on them.”

“But we took the couple along, taking into account that my trip was not yet finished, and we dropped them at Bree taxi rank where they were actually going, and we felt very pleased that we left them in the safe place.”

Nkululeko and Thato team up

Ngubane said that they did not get the victimised couple’s contact details, but he assumed they were students, given that they were in their early twenties and were in possession of many academic books.

The passenger’s actions are made all the more remarkable, considering that his brother had been mugged in Noord Street just one month ago. His stirring sense of justice shone through, and he was able to give the assistance his sibling desperately would have needed.

“Only when we act together in solidarity that we can make a dent in the reduction of crime levels. The aggression in which these criminals exert their harm on victims is vicious, and it serves as a deterrent to those who wish to help.”

“Many people have lost their lives while attempting to assist others, we could have easily become part of those unfortunate statistics.” – Nkululeko Ngubane.

Uber South Africa has since reached out to Thato, to thank him for his incredible response in a volatile situation. When we spoke to the company, they told us they were aware of the incident but need “more time” before discussing what else they can do for Thato.

Two words for this Uber driver, guys: Pay. Rise!