Tshwane man in hot water over cabbage patch, police now want two-metre space
A Facebook user, Djo BaNkuna took to Facebook to decry the request he got from the Tshwane Metro Police Department to get rid of the vegetable patch outside his home.
We ask Tshwane Metro Police Department which bylaw is he in contravention of and the man has been planting vegetables on that piece of land for three years, but only now has he faced some the police on this matter.
Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Isaac Mahamba has more.
Facebook Post from 10th September
Believe it or not. Miracles happen. On Thursday (09/08/2021) at 9am, two Metro Police officers came to my home and threatened me with arrest. My sin was to plant vegetables instead of grass and flowers on my pavement. I was told that Tshwane by-laws only permit grass and flowers outside, not cabbage, onion and spinach. I was instructed to apply at the city council for the permission to plant vegetables outside or replace my veggies with grass/roses or nothing. I did not argue. Today (10/08/2021) at 9:30am I complied, and there I was trying to file a cabbage planting application at the Tshwane council offices in Wonderpark.Needless to say the council's land-use and by-laws section have not heard of such a by-law or permit. It does not exist. After so much laughter, Johan and Vincent sent me away empty handed without a permit. I decided to pass via the Metro offices in Winternest to give feedback about my failure to secure the cabbage planting permit. Yerrrr! 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 14/09/2021, my arrest and jailing is 100% guaranteed. I guess I will be the first Cabbage Bandit in Gauteng.I am a law abiding citizen. If Tshwane by-laws outlaw the planting of cabbage and onions outside, I will obey it. If it is written in black and white, I will not say more but kill that cabbage. But I am NOT going to destroy my food based on a spiritual by-law or Commander Ndlovu's dislike of cabbage and onions. He is the Metro Police boss at the Winternest office, I respect that, but that does not make his hatred of cabbage the law. So, jail it is for me on Tuesday.
Outside my house, I have two moringa trees and orange trees. At that specific corner, I have planted cabbages, tomatoes etc. I have had this vegetable corner since 2019 and it is famous in the area, even the Tshwane metro police in the area know my patch very well,Djo BaNkuna
As police officers, our responsibility is to discharge the law. He has planted vegetables opposite his house and the place belongs to the city. Regarding the corner, he has planted those vegetables on the sidewalk and the residents can't pass.Isaac Mahamba, Spokesperson - Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department
We are not saying he must remove his vegetables entirely, he must remove a portion of it and create a two-metre space that people can walk on.Isaac Mahamba, Spokesperson - Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department
I am hearing about the issue of the metre and pedestrians for the first time. I went to the authorities and they said it is at my own discretion and own risk.Djo BaNkuna
Listen below for the full interview...