The state has dropped charges against Cabbage Bandit Djo BaNkuna for growing food on his pavement – He is overjoyed but taking this time to heal from the trauma.
Pretoria, South Africa (23 November 2021) – The Cabbage Bandit went viral in South Africa for all the right reasons! Firstly, because in a country filled with starving people, being told you cannot grow free food for others in front of your house is madness, and secondly, nobody actually knows the rules, and that should probably change!
Djo BaNkuna has been growing food on his front lawn for the last three years. From a healthy pumpkin patch to an unbelievable sweet potato crop. This year he planted cabbages. Before long, the cops came knocking, threatening Djo with jail time if he didn’t remove the free crop from his front yard.
Djo shared his entire experience on Facebook, and the post went viral. Gardeners across South Africa stood up in solidarity and started planting their own pavement gardens. The City of Cape Town even released a statement in September advising the cities residents that food gardens on pavements were allowed so long as a safe footpath was in place to keep pedestrians safe.
Djo took to Facebook yesterday to share the update that the charges against him had been dropped.
“My case is nolle prosequi (a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff or prosecutor of all or part of a suit or action.)
On 17/11/2021, I received a letter from the Acting Director for Municipal Courts Prosecution notifying me about the withdrawal of the case. This was after I submitted my representations on 28/09/2021. Therein are argued that there was no case against me. That I did not break any municipal bylaws by planting cabbage and onions rather than grass and roses. I argued that the municipal amenities bylaw that was cited on my R1500 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.”
“My patriotas, once again thank you for the loud support. Without your vigilance, I would have been a certified cabbage criminal. Lynched, with a criminal record to prove. To my lawyer, Adv Puseletso Loselo I say thank you for the fantastic pro bono work. I am forever grateful. Power and bread to the People!”