JAVIER Novarini is leaving South Africa today with good and bad experiences.

JAVIER Novarini is leaving South Africa today with good and bad experiences.

On June 9, his cellphone and an iPod were allegedly stolen by a police officer from his room.

"I was standing outside my room chatting with friends when a policeman entered my room. I did not mind because he was an officer and they would search our rooms at any time," Novarini said.

He said he had left his gadgets on a charger. "When I went inside, my stuff was gone. I knew they were stolen by the cop because he was the only one who entered my room. When I confronted him he denied it."

Novarini, 44, from Argentina but now living in the US, was as a translator for the Argentinian soccer fans who are staying at Progressive Christian College in Pretoria.

He said two days after his stuff was stolen he needed a taxi to go somewhere but did not have airtime. He then asked Mpho Matladi, whom he said told him he was an officer, to help him.

"When he took out his phone I realised that it was my stolen phone. I asked to see it but he refused. He ran inside the building and hid in one of the rooms," Novarini said.

He said he informed other police officers but they were reluctant to act. He said on June 16 police came to raid the college and that was when he approached a senior officer.

"He immediately sent police to search Matladi's room and they found our stolen T-shirts, cutlery and other things."

Matladi was arrested and appeared in Pretoria magistrate's court the next day.

He was released on R1500 bail. He appeared again on Friday night but Novarini dropped the case.