Domestic worker mugged in gated Gallo Manor neighbourhood

Fidelity ADT issued a warning to all domestic workers to be extra vigilant when heading to and from work following an incident in which a domestic worker was mugged while walking to her workplace in Gallo Manor.

Denise Magakwa said she was followed and mugged after walking through the entrance of a gated neighbourhood where Bowling Avenue and Malopo Road intersect.

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“I was coming to work around 6.30am on Wednesday morning [5 July] and went inside the complex yard. I knew someone was following me but assumed they were going to work in the area. When I was in Tugela Crescent, he rushed in front of me and told me to keep quiet. He showed me a knife and took my bag. I screamed, but no one came to my rescue. He had run away by the time ADT arrived,” said Magakwa.

Her bag contained a new smart phone she had saved up to purchase three months ago, clothes and a wallet containing R490. Community development manager at ADT, Linda Reeder said, “This is not an isolated incident. We have seen an increase in the number of attacks and robberies of pedestrians.”

Reeder encouraged employers to speak to their staff about safety and to allow them to share their concerns. Magakwa said she has been shaken by the incident and often feels like there is someone following her during subsequent walks to work.

“There was no security where I was walking and it was dark at that time of the morning. There should be police walking around the area to protect us,” said Magakwa.

Her employer, Sean Wainer, said, “This is supposed to be a secure area. It is so sad that people would steal from someone with so little. She works so hard, saves money to put her kids through school and tries hard.”

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Wainer said he was thankful for the assistance of ADT and the police, who had both offered Magakwa counselling following the incident. The incident has been reported to the police and Magakwa is awaiting a case number.

Reeder offered the following safety advice for domestic staff:

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and valuables
  • Keep your cell phone hidden.
  • Do not walk with earphones as you cannot hear what is happening around you
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Try and change your routes to avoid predictability, in case somebody is watching you
  • Avoid areas that are secluded and hidden from general view
  • Whenever possible, walk with someone
  • Report any suspicious behaviour to your security provider in the area.

Do you know of a recent incident where a domestic worker was mugged in your area? Let us know by messaging the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

Sarah Koning

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