Vigil held for murdered Muizenberg student

Braden Cannoo

A 22-year-old student and waiter from Muzenberg, who died trying to stop three men who stole a cellphone from a Steenberg Village restaurant, was mourned at a night vigil on Tuesday.

Earlier, one of his alleged killers appeared in court.

Braden Cannoo, who had been a part-time waiter at Jakes in the Village, for about a year, died after being dragged under the thieves’ getaway car.

According to provincial police spokeswoman Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, three men and a woman posing as customers entered the restaurant at 7:30pm on Monday August 3.

The men left soon after arriving, and when a customer noticed them take the manager’s cellphone from the reception desk, she alerted
Mr Cannoo.

According to David Ellis, owner of Jakes, there have been similar thefts at the restaurant, and the three men made staff suspicious when they left without sitting down. The men climbed into an
Avanza, leaving the woman behind, and Mr Cannoo jumped onto the bonnet and shouted, “Stop, that’s not your cellphone.”

The driver hit the accelerator then braked sharply, throwing
Mr Cannoo from the car.

According to Sergeant Rwexana, the men drove over Mr Cannoo as he became caught under the car, which then dragged him through the parking lot and towards the traffic circle in Reddam Avenue.

Mr Cannoo’s body was dislodged about 1km away. He was declared dead on the scene.

Police arrested the woman left behind on a charge of cellphone theft, and last Thursday they arrested a 34-year-old man who appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday August 11. He is facing a charge of murder.

A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page described Mr Cannoo as a young enthusiastic student, gentle and thoughtful, a hero, a valued waiter, and friend of all at Jakes. Regular customers posted messages praising his bravery and kindness.

Nina Devlin, Mr Cannoo’s girlfriend, said he had been studying industrial engineering. She described him as the kindest and most compassionate person she had ever met and said he was jokingly called a “mother” because he was always caring for others.

“He always did absolutely anything to help a person in need, even give his life. The world has lost a truly beautiful human being. He was my best friend, my first love and my heart for four-and-a-half years. I love you, Braden Cannoo. Forever and forever, no matter what, just as we promised.”

Mr Ellis said Mr Cannoo often had to be told to relax because he cared so much and was so hard working.

The woman, who they had held on the premises while waiting for
the police, hadn’t said much, only that it was her birthday and she wanted to party, he said.

A crowdfunding page on Go Get Funding was set up for Mr Cannoo’s funeral. As of Tuesday August 11 it had raised R76 389. The original target was R25 000.

Some 200 people, including Mr Cannoo’s friends and family, attended the night vigil at Steenberg Village. His father, Steve Cannoo, urged the community to stand united.

South Africans needed to realise we were all one colour – the colour of blood, he said, and what happened to his son should not be turned into a racial issue.

Braden had shown courage and acted protectively as a man would in that situation, he
said. The family were hurting, he added.

Speaking through her tears, Ms Devlin said her boyfriend had deserved better than what had happened to him and that the world was a better place with him in it.

Ray Chaplin was eating dinner with a friend, a medic, on the night of the tragedy and they both ran to the spot where Mr Cannoo’s body was dislodged from the car. He told the gathering: “If we are just 1% more like Braden, the country would be much better.”