- Jul 26, 2021
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The ‘Cabbage Bandit’ is off the hook, but says he and his family need time to process the trauma. Metro police had pressed charges against Djo BaNkuna for planting vegetables on his pavement, instead of grass, trees and flowers.
The withdrawal of the case against Djo BaNkuna comes after threats and eventually the unleashing of the wrath of the law on the Pretoria resident who grows vegetables on his pavement instead of beautifying it with flowers, lawn or trees.
On 14 September, the Tshwane metro police served BaNkuna with notice over his use of municipal property to grow vegetables. BaNkuna was given two options: Either he appeared in the Wonderboom Municipal Court on 23 November 2021, or he pay a fine of R1,500.
On 30 September 2021, the metro police department dropped charges that he allegedly intentionally interfered with municipal property, but he still faced a traffic fine.
“There is no crime that BaNkuna committed. All he committed is an offence in terms of the Road Traffic Act which we issued him a fine that he can either pay within 30 days and get 50% discount off or contest the fine in court,” said Tshwane metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba.
BaNkuna refused to pay the fine and intended to challenge the matter in court.
BaNkuna posted on his Facebook page today:
“It was a very bad mistake. Upon arrival at the JMPD offices, my wife and I were rudely ushered straight across the building to the office of the TMPD boss, Mr Elvis Ndlovu.
“The angry metro police office commander insisted that cabbage is not allowed outside, by-law or no by-law.
“He just does not like it, period. Instead of taking me through the by-laws and pointing to the relevant sections relating to my contravention, he angered up. Things went bad to worse when I asked him to give me a written notice of my contravention, that is when his oil began to boil. I am told that if I do not remove my cabbage by Tuesday (September 14) my arrest and jailing is 100% guaranteed.
I think low growing vegs should be allowed (if not allowed, not sure what Tshwane says but I've seen vegs planted by muni in PMB). Things like mielies I'd say no as they grow tall and would be an eyesore on the sidewalk.
One month later, he is now also being honoured.‘Cabbage Bandit’ case withdrawn:
I might suggest that any need to explain it would be a wasteful exercise. Perhaps they have enough normal people.Yes I am, such incidents are damaging politically and I expected some PR statements, even if it came about through the intervention of the governing party there.