A FIGHT with a taxi driver about change left Thebe Koena (38) stranded with no money to get home.

But a hero cop saved the day.

“Only God knows what could have happened to me. I was in the dark, in the middle of nowhere. I was vulnerable,” said Thebe from Lenasia South in the south of Joburg.

He told Daily Sun he owed his life to Officer Nombulelo Nhleko of the Joburg Metro cops.

“The taxi driver left me on Golden Highway on Saturday.”

He said it was about 9pm.

As he walked in the dark, he saw the flashing lights of a police vehicle.

“I went there and found that the officers were attending an accident scene.”

He approached officer Nhleko and explained his story.

“I thought she would chase me away but to my surprise, she took my case very seriously. She told me to wait for her to finish and she will take me home.”

He said when Nhleko was done, she drove with him in her patrol car.

“We found another accident on the road and she asked nicely that she attends to it.”

Thebe said the people who had been involved in the accident were fighting.

“She got in the middle and separated those people.

“She only left when other officers arrived. She then took me home and made sure I got inside the house safely,” said the father of three, whose wife had been panicking.

Thebe told the People’s Paper that he often got home at 8pm and when the time was about 10pm, his wife started worrying.

What made matters worse was that there was no answer on Thebe’s silent phone when she called.

But when officer Nheko brought Thebe home, his wife was relieved.

Thebe said he saw bravery of the highest level from officer Nhleko.

“I’ve never seen a woman so brave. She’s dedicated to her job.”

He said if it wasn’t for the cop, he would have been mugged on the road.

“I would have even lost my life but God sent me His angel in the form of officer Nhleko.”

He said the police department, including the SAPS and all Metro police, needed to take a lesson from people like Nheko, who put people first.

“Thank you, officer. I salute you. You are my hero,” said Thebe.

JMPD spokesman superintendent Wayne Minnaar commended officer Nhleko for what she did.

“She went beyond her call of duty when assisting that stranded man. We commend her for that.”

Minnaar also encouraged her to continue doing great things for the communities saying that one day, she will reap the fruit.