Meet John everyone – our January hero!
There’s a lot to admire about CSS Officer John Mphahele, who is responsible for the arrest of a suspect that was attempting to break into 4 Cassia Avenue last Tuesday. Not only is he extremely passionate about his job, but he also enjoys it so much that often skips his break in order to keep patrolling!
We interviewed him during some rare downtime, and found out more about this guardian of our MX40 streets, as well as the inside scoop on the events of last Tuesday.
(Next time you see Officer John – see his photo below – be sure to give him a HIGH FIVE or leave a comment for him below and we’ll pass it on!)
My family life
Is busy! I am married and have two children – a girl (23) and boy (12). I live in Alexandra.
The best part of my job
Patrolling. I really really enjoy it. I am always on the lookout for gates that have been left open, or suspicious activity. I have been patrolling these streets for many years and know immediately if something is not right. The residents and people working there are very friendly and very appreciative – they are good people.
My journey with CSS/ Beagle Watch
I’ve been with them for 7 years.
Last Tuesday, when the attempted housebreaking happened
I was patrolling on Magnolia Street, facing Cassia Avenue when I saw a black guy sprinting out of Cassia. I thought to myself, “It’s late in the afternoon, people have been working and they are tired. This guy has too much energy, he’s like a rabbit. He’s up to no good!”
I drove onto Cassia and heard the domestic worker at Number 4 screaming. I immediately made a U-turn to chase the suspect. I followed him, flashing my lights to other drivers to let them know that I was in pursuit and found him on Outspan Rd with his finger pointing upwards, as a signal to taxis that he wanted to go to town. The taxi driver saw that I was chasing this guy and left without him. I then made the arrest at the corner of Ballyclare and Outspan.
We first drove back to #4 Cassia so that the domestic worker could identify him , which she did. Apparently he had repeatedly rung the bell, and thinking that no-one was there, had climbed a tree and jumped over the electric fence. He then made his way onto the roof, when the domestic worker heard him and demanded to know what he was doing. He told her that he had accidentally lost his tennis ball and was trying to access the property to get it. This was a lie, as he had told me he had been working at the property and left his keys there.
He was then taken to Sandton Police Station and charged.
The people at #4 Cassia are not CSS clients
I’m proud of the fact that this guy was arrested, not because someone pushed a panic button, but because I was actively patrolling. And even though the residents are not CSS clients, I still successfully arrested the guy.