Charges pressed by Tshwane metro police against Djo BaNkuna for planting vegetables on his pavement, instead of grass, trees and flowers have been withdrawn, according to the Daily Maverick.

On 14 September 2021, the metro police served BaNkuna with notice over his use of municipal property to grow vegetables.

BaNkuna was given two options: Either appear in the Wonderboom Municipal Court on 23 November or 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 yesterday: ‘My case is nolle prosequi. On 17 November 2021, I received a letter from the acting director for Municipal Courts Prosecution notifying me about the withdrawal of the case arguing there was no case against me and that I did not break any by-laws by planting cabbage and onions rather than grass and roses. This was after I submitted my representations on 28 September 2021 arguing that the municipal amenities bylaw that was cited on my R1 500 fine was desperate and irrelevant as there was no such a public amenity at the corner of my property. My house is not a public amenity. I decried the blatant abuse of power by the Tshwane Metro Police Department...’

Full Daily Maverick report