- Community members have come together to support 'sidewalk farmer' Djo BaNkuna
- He's expected to appear in the Wonderboom Municipal Court on the 23rd of November following his refusal to pay a R1 500 fine
- Social media users banded together in support, sharing uplifting comments in the comments section
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Community members are showing support to Djo BaNkuna, a local man who's being fined by police for planting vegetables on Pretoria sidewalks.
The 'urban farmer' has been planting the vegetables for the last 3 years but recently received some backlash after a community members complaint. Wanting to take his chances with the law, Djo BaNkuna has refused to pay the R1 500 fine and instead plans on defending his case in court.
He's expected at the Wonderboom Municipal Court on the 23rd of November.
Heading online, supporters of BaNkuna have rallied in his defence. The Facebook group simply named "Djo BaNkuna Support group" has 1.1k members already.
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To view the post, click here.
Check out some of what supporters are saying in the comments:
Lorraine Slippers said:
"Yes 23rd he must appear we all need to show up with veggies at court."
Willoughby Brits said:
"If there’s a court case, I’m going. And I’m taking a cabbage."
Olive LG said:
"I want to be there."
Vusumzi January said:
"This is definitely the movement we need. Guerilla gardening! Our survival is in our hands."
Andrew Van Zyl said:
Rosemary Montgomery said:
"Fantastic... this is how it should be done."
Willoughby Brits said:
"In the words of the great King T’challa: Yibambe!"
Tshwane man fined R1 500 for growing a vegetable garden by the sidewalk
In related news, Briefly News previously reported that Tshwane metro police department (TMPD) officers previously warned Joe Nkuna that if he did not remove his sidewalk vegetable garden he could be arrested for breaking by-laws and they have now decided to fine him R1 500 for his garden.
Nkuna took to Facebook under the name Djo BaNkuna to explain that police visited him at his home to hand him the fine and gave him 30 days to pay it. Nkuna stated that he would rather take his chances at court and defend himself.
Nkuna says started his garden to assist his wife who is a social worker. His wife would donate fruits and vegetables that she bought to help people from impoverished backgrounds in Pretoria.
According to TimesLIVE, Nkuna began gardening on the sidewalk three years ago and has since harvested pumpkins, beetroot, sweet potatoes and onions.
After years of success and helping people that were in need, Nkuna was told by authorities that someone had lodged a complaint against him and told him he was not allowed to plant on the pavement without permission.
According to IOL, the police told Nkuna in accordance with the by-law, he needs a permit from his local municipality to plant on the side of the road because that area belongs to the local government, however, he says people in the municipal offices are not aware of such a by-law.
Nkuna was told he could plant on the sidewalk but it would be at his own risk. Unfortunately, Nkuna made the decision to tell the police who had visited him about his garden that he did not need a permit.
They told him he still needed to remove his garden despite the by-law not being in existence. They warned that he did not remove his garden he could be jailed. He added that if the garden is really a problem for the police he will remove it.