Fritzi, I had quite the same experience. There is one quite unsafe place in the city which I knew before from newspapers and what friends have told that cell phones are frequently stolen there and there are lots of various low-lifes (not sure why, but I believe it could be because some drug-selling point is near near, so these people steals to get money for drugs...). However, me and friend at a time forgot this and went through that street to make the road shorter (I went through there one or two times before that too and nothing happened, so I didn't thought it's actually unsafe). A man than came near us and asked for 50 cents. It wasn't too suspicious then, but now I am quite sure that he would just have looked where we keep money and probably cell-phones and then steel it all. I said we don't have this money - actually, this was somewhat true, as I had only 20 Litas banknote. Than he started to threaten us, like "Do you need problems?", etc. We just walked near him and I sometimes replied that I don't have any money. Later he started to threaten us even more, ask for other things instead of money, say that he will supposedly kill us with knife if we will run in "that street at the end of this one". However, in that street he was mentioning there were lots more people, he wouldn't actually have done there that as I was sure (although it was still scary). He just didn't wanted us to go there because he knew that he couldn't follow us in that street. Actually, I was right - he stopped pursuing us exacly near that major street. Although we were two and he was only one (but I wouldn't be surprised if he actually had friends somewhere near) and we lost nothing, it was quite scary experience.
I personally try never to speak on cell-phone in public and I am rarely carrying it . I know several people who lost their phones this way. Also, I am planning to get an old phone which it wouldn't be a big lost to loose.
Andz, if I am correct, South African government even banned reporting statistics of crimes... It's sad to see a once great country ending up like this. Since ANC
taken power, situation is only descending it seems... Biggest percent of policemen being killed on job in the world, biggest number of child rapes per 1000 people in the world... Just a few achievements of the mentioned party's policy. They surely made people's life equal - just that they made it equally hard for all. It's more and more a typical African state now. More and more like Zimbabwe with gangs terrorising and killing farmers, etc. What is different (for now) is just that government doesn't *officially* support this like in the mentioned country to the north of ZA
. At least for now...