Cheetahs speedster thwarts phone theft

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Cheetahs speedster, Tapiwa Mafura (jumping), used his blistering pace to stop a phone thief from getting away with a teen’s phone. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Sport stars are often regarded as heroes in the eyes of adoring fans, providing not only entertainment, but a sense of belonging and euphoria every time they triumph.

But what if a sport star also stopped crime, like a superhero? This is the case when it comes to Toyota Cheetahs star fullback, Tapiwa Mafura, who bravely chased after a phone thief, and stopped him from getting away.

Mafura was walking with the former Mrs World and estate agent, Annette Kasselman, when they came across a suspicious-looking individual in the townhouse complex where Mafura stays.

“As we were walking to the gate, we saw a man coming out of one of the other apartments, and as he was walking out, a girl screamed loudly,” told Mafura.

The 27-year-old rugby player quizzed the man, who he had just seen leaving the apartment where the scream of Zoë Swart, a learner from Martie Du Plessis and one of Mafura’s neighbours, originated.

“[The phone thief] was just about to walk out of the gate when the girl came out of the apartment and screamed ‘he stole my phone!’,” explained Mafura, “I jumped out of my shoes and I started running.

I chased him for about a 100m before I caught him”. He also had Kasselman as backup in his chase. “In my head I was just thinking that I needed to catch the guy,” Mafura said.

“I’m not going to allow him to get away with whatever he had stolen.” Once Mafura caught up with him, the phone thief swung a brick and an empty bottle at him, but undeterred, Mafura dragged the man back to the complex where they discovered that he had dropped the phone and it was safely back in possession with its rightful owner.

He stated that Swart’s mother came and thanked him for his heroism, as she was at work at the time.

Away from the incident, Bloemfontein Courant spoke to the Cheetahs star about his and his team’s season.

“I feel my season is going very well, I’ve started in the manner that I wanted to start, and everything I want to achieve is happening, and getting the wins is more important than my individual goals,” he started.

“I would like a few more tries and assists, but I would prefer to assist,” added Mafura. “The main goal is to help my team in the EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) Challenge Cup.

We would definitely love to lift the trophy. Having started off on the right foot, I think we can really build on the momentum and keep it going.

In this competition there is no room for error.” Mafura wants the team to continue in the same fashion as they have been this season, as they only have two more matches before the EPCR playoff matches

Warren Hawkins

Warren@mahareng.co.za