Photo Credit: On File

Since June 2017, we have celebrated 200 heroes with SPAR, awarding them all with the title of SPAR Hero of the Week; these are the top 10 most celebrated heroes of the last 4 years.


South Africa (10 June 2021) – Each week, we celebrate one hero in South Africa that has gone above and beyond to inspire us all. Since partnering with SPAR for our SPAR Hero of the Week Award in 2017, we have had 200 heroes.

Yes, you read that right; we have celebrated 200 heroes in the last 4 years, thanks to SPAR. To celebrate this partnership over the last 4 years, we decided to take a look at our top 10 most celebrated heroes.

You will know someone has been given the SPAR Hero of the Week Award each Friday when our newsletter goes out, 7 am sharp! We have a dedicated section that highlights their story. Each hero story also gets a banner, as you see below.

If you are not signed up for our newsletter, head over to the main page of our website here and scroll down just past our eight newest stories, and you will be able to enter your email address there.

SPAR Hero Banner

Looking over the last 4 years and in no particular order, these are our top 10 heroes.

A team of female police officers took down an armed gang without firing a single shot!

A group of four female police officers, who were newly recruited back in 2017, caught six armed robbers in Durban’s city centre. The ladies are officers Mbuyiselo Kunene, Nokukhanya Dlamini, Ntombifuthi Dlamini and Ashleigh Conwaywere.

The heavily armed gang held up employees at a McDonald’s in the city’s Pixley Isa Ka Seme Street. A passerby flagged down the patrolling officers and alerted them to the robbery taking place. The six men fled into a crowded taxi rank. Backed up by the male officers, the women stopped the gang from escaping in a taxi.

They cut the taxi off, guns drawn, they removed the gunmen from the packed minibus. The ladies recovered unlicensed firearms used in the robbery as well as the money taken in the heist—all without firing a single bullet.

Read the full story here.

Goodmass Female Police

Meet the hero that helped take down a man attempting to kidnap a child.

Dishal Sooku was hailed a hero in September 2020 for taking down a man who was attempting to assault a young girl at his restaurant. The video of the attack went viral. Dishal’s fast-acting reflexes helped bring down the man within seconds of him attempting to assault the little girl.

Dishal is the owner of the restaurant where the attempted kidnapping took place. He has been practising jujitsu for years and used his skills to carefully but accurately bring down the kidnapper. Dishal had been sitting near the family with his father. His father pointed the guy out, saying he was acting suspiciously. Dishal watched him, and when he saw the guy start running full-speed towards the little girl, his instincts kicked in.

Read the full story here.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Hero caught on camera risking his life to save an elderly woman during the #DurbanStorm.

The Durban storm of October 2017 was a massive one. It was the storm that saw millions of nurdles end up spread across the Durban beaches. It is also the storm that saw a hero born. A man was photographed pulling off his clothes and rushing into the rising floodwaters on the N2 to save an older woman trapped in her car.

The story went viral, and our readers called for answers. They wanted to know who the good samaritan was and what happened after the photo was taken. Then, a few hours later, we met Sibusiso Manduzu Matrick Mbhele, who saved Janet Hart from rising water.

Matrick abandoned his work truck and waded through strong floodwaters to get to Janet. He calmed her down and got her safely back to his truck.

Read the full story here.

heroes Durban Hero

Nurse lay down beside a dying stranger to comfort him in his final moments.

Nurse Kabelo was hailed a hero after rolling power cuts meant a man he was caring for lost his oxygen supply and life support. Nurse Kabelo did the only thing he knew; he gave comfort to a dying man in his final moments.

Ruarri Rogan penned a heartbreaking open letter about his father’s passing in 2019, after a local power outage in Craighall Park cut off his oxygen. The letter served to share the story of his father’s final moments and to celebrate Nurse Kabelo, who went above and beyond to ease a family.

“I must point out that, in his last hour, his nurse, Kabelo, who had only just started and just arrived that evening from Soweto for the first time, climbed into bed with my father, stroked his face, and held his hand to comfort him while my sister scrambled in the darkness to call paramedics and see why the power had gone out.” – Ruarri Rogan

Ruarri’s letter warmed the hearts of everyone.

You can read the story here.

Heroes Nurse lay down beside a dying stranger to comfort him in his final moments
Nurse Kabelo

Gym cleaner hailed as a hero after saving swimmer from drowning.

23-year-old Karabo Thosago was commended after saving a swimmer from drowning at the Planet Fitness gym pool in Craighall Park.

CCTV video footage from the gym showed the swimmer suddenly collapsing underwater after completing a lap. He stayed under the water for a while before Thosago jumped in to pull him out. Thanks to Karabo’s actions, the swimmer was taken to a nearby hospital and made a full recovery!

You can read the story here.

It takes a village: South African Supermom is going viral for breastfeeding her helper’s baby.

Mandi Barensché went viral in 2017 after sharing that she breastfed her helpers baby. Her helper had been suffering from postpartum depression, and her baby was colicky, so she was exhausted. Mandi had expressed a few times, but this day, the baby wasn’t having it, and so Mandi let him latch naturally.

The post went viral for showing that mothers need support. Mandi explained that the concept of breastfeeding someone else’s baby is not a new one and has been around for hundreds of years. She was merely a wetnurse for the day.

The story spoke to so many moms and inspired unity.

You can read the full story here.

South African hailed a hero after rescuing a child from a raging river!

A child in Alexandra found himself in a scary situation back in March 2019. The Jukskei River was raging, and the child was at risk of falling in and being swept away.

Vincent Cosa was caught on video by Yusuf Abramjee sliding across a pipe above a raging river to save a child stuck in the middle. When he reaches the child, the brave South African can be seen putting the young child on his back before making his way to the other side.

You can read the story here.

PE School staff heroes helped chase down armed robbers bringing them to justice.

David Jali and Marselle van der Mescht were hailed as heroes in Port Elizabeth back in 2018. The two men worked at the Cape Recife High School. David, the school’s physiotherapy assistant and Marselle, the school’s caretaker.

David was outside the school helping some of the students out of the bus before school started when he heard screaming. He turned to check where it came from and saw two armed men wrestling a woman’s bag free from her grip before running off. David ran into the school for help and happened upon Marselle.

The men chased down the armed robbers and eventually apprehended them. Police came to arrest the robbers, and the woman was reunited with her handbag.

Read the story full here.

Robbers Heroes

Student hailed a hero after risking his life to save others during the recent fires.

The fire season of 2019 brought with it a ferocious blaze of destruction. Corne Uys was evacuated from the school, but instead of abandoning the little animals, the brave young man decided to save as many as he could.

He stayed on the frontline of the fire, picking up as many little creatures as he could. For 3 hours, Corne was in and out of the fire, rescuing tortoises and other wildlife. Out of the hundreds who burnt, he managed to save a total of 33 tortoises while his dad drove up and down through the chaos of people and blazing fires.

Corne and his father took all their rescues to Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary, where they were able to recover.

Read the story here.

Local high school student hailed a hero after risking his life to save other during the Betties Bay fires

Schoolboy makes mom stop the car so he can help informal recycler

James Hefer left his mother, Dale Hefer, speechless when he performed a random act of kindness on the way to school.

It was bin day, and the informal recyclers were out on the roads collecting all their recyclables.

James saw a man struggling to push his collection along the road and up a hill. He was overcome with the need to do something and asked his mother to stop the car. Dale stopped her car and watched as her son jumped out and ran to help the man push his trolley along. She followed behind them to make sure they were safe from other cars.

You can read the full story here.

informal recycler heroes

You can see all 200 hero stories on our website here.

Sources: GTG / SPAR
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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