The man who tricked KwaZulu-Natal petrol attendant Sphamadla ‘Wiseman’ Ndabezitha, into putting the wrong amount of petrol into his car and then making fun of him on video, said it was a practical joke, and he meant no harm.
Phakamani Mbokazi visited Ndabezitha at the BP garage in Hilton on Thursday after the video, shot in January, was posted on Twitter, “to make sure that there were no hard feelings”. The men confirmed Mbokazi paid for the petrol that same day.
South Africans rose to the occasion, donating about R10,000 to Ndabezitha, a father of three.
“I didn’t know what to say. I am so grateful to Tumi Sole, my boss and SA because I was really hurt by people’s reaction after the incident,” he said. “Now I can put that money towards building my mother a house.”
Sole, a lawyer and social activist, retweeted the video and Ndabezitha’s banking details.
Ndabezitha said when the customer asked him to put in “two ten” as heard on a video of the incident, he asked for clarification before putting in petrol to the amount of R210. To his surprise, the customer then paid him R20 in the form of two R10 notes.
“The way this is being portrayed, on social media, I wasn’t planning on not paying him. I wanted to see how careful he is because there are some tricksters out there. The other petrol attendant could see I was shooting a video. Another attendant who knew me came and asked what I was doing and I told him it was just a trick,” said Mbokazi.
“I want people to know that I was just trying to show how people need to be careful because sometimes you get people who are actual scammers and want you to put more petrol than they can afford.
“His service was great and he was such a cool guy. I wish every petrol attendant would be this careful. I came here to take another video with him so it can be clear to people that I did not scam him,” he added.
Mbokazi had posted the video on his TikTok account and shared the video with Ndabezitha, who at the time of the incident had also posted it on his WhatsApp story.
Months after the incident Ndabezitha said that he was still hurt by the initial outcome of when the video was first posted.
“A week later everyone was calling me ‘two ten’ which really hurt my feelings because it made me look like a fool. Everywhere I went everyone was calling me ‘two ten’. I had turned into a bit of a joke because sometimes customers would come and ask for ‘two ten’,” said Ndabezitha.
“I don’t know how the video ended up on Twitter but it was a blessing in disguise,” he added.
On Wednesday, Ndabezitha was trending at number one on Twitter after the video was retweeted by Sole who reached out to him and shared his banking details on social media, resulting in an outpouring from South Africans who donated money.
“When Tumi called me yesterday I was a bit sceptical but I gave him my banking details anyway. At around 12 my phone started blowing up.”