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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Snooty thieves return mobile phone
By Richard Hamilton
BBC News, Cape Town

Thieves who robbed two women in a suburb of Port Elizabeth in South Africa's Eastern Cape region gave back one of the victim's mobile phones because it was "a cheap old model".

Old mobile phones
Africa is one of the world's fastest-growing markets for mobile phones
The women, Tandeka Mazwane and Nomawethu Mgogoshe, were out walking in Motherwell in Port Elizabeth when they were attacked by two men who threatened them with knives.

The women were told to hand over everything they had of value.

"I could not scream because I was so shocked," said Ms Mazwane.

"They started searching us. They took my cell phone and gold chains."

Mobile nation

But the thieves were not impressed with her friend's mobile phone.

"We were so scared, but even more surprised," Ms Mazwane added, "when they looked at her phone and threw it back at her, saying they don't take cheap stuff."

Around 16 million people in South Africa use mobile phones, more than a third of the population.

A report last month by the International Telecommunication Union said Africa is the fastest-growing market for mobile phones in the world.

The two women said people who witnessed the crime came to their aid only once the two robbers had run away.

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