Djo BaNkuna's vegetable garden on the pavement outside his home in Theresa Park is no longer looking so good. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Djo BaNkuna's vegetable garden on the pavement outside his home in Theresa Park is no longer looking so good. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Tshwane’s controversial pavement vegetable garden loses its lustre

By Nokwanda Ncwane Time of article published Oct 26, 2021

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Pretoria - The controversial vegetable garden on the pavement outside Djo Bankuna’s Theresapark, Pretoria, home is no longer in the immaculate condition it was a few weeks ago.

What was once dominated by fresh vegetables is now mostly sand. The few vegetables that remain appear to be getting little to no water and look like they’ve not been tended to for a while.

Contacted for comment, BaNkuna the so-called “cabbage bandit” told the Pretoria News he would not be doing any media interviews until his court date.

A neighbour said: “I have seen him a couple of times. He could be lying low and leaving the garden the way it is because he has had enough of the media attention and scrutiny.”

Djo BaNkuna's vegetable garden on the pavement outside his home in Theresa Park is no longer looking so good. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

BaNkuna became an instant hero for his defiance after the police fined him for planting vegetables on the pavement in front of his house.

He had taken to Facebook to detail that Tshwane Metro Police Department officers threatened him with arrest for the vegetable garden on the pavement in front of his Theresapark property in Pretoria North.

Tshwane Metro Police Department spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said at the time that the “urban farmer” was issued with a fine of R1 500 for obstructing a sidewalk and space reserved for pedestrians.

“This is national legislation which regulates what is allowed on a public road reserve. It is further supported by the by-law on City amenities.

“Mr BaNkuna does not own this land and cannot merely decide to use it for agricultural purposes. It is public land which needs to be accessed by all residents in the area, their rights must be protected,” Mahamba said.

BaNkuna is expected to appear in the Wonderboom Municipal Court on November 23.

The 47-year-old previously said that he started the garden three years ago to assist his social worker wife so she could provide for impoverished people.

Pretoria News

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