Remove the cabbage from the sidewalk in front of your house or stick to the law.
This is the warning a Tshwane resident received after the city’s Metro Police Department (TMPD) he visited his house on September 9th.
Joe Nkuna from Theresapark in Akasia said TMPD officials gave him until Tuesday to remove the cabbage or be charged.
On Monday, Nkuna told TimesLIVE that he started the vegetable garden in front of his house in 2019 to help his wife, who is volunteering as part of her social work in Soshanguve.
He said that his wife often dresses and took books and bought vegetables to help those in need.
The idea of a vegetable garden came to mind when they were renovating their house.
Nkuna first said they wanted grass and Planting roses, but that would have cost “a lot of money”.
“I planted vegetables because they were cheaper and I wanted to help them.”
He said that in three years as a street gardener, he harvested 65 pumpkins, sweet potatoes, beetroot and onions.
“In March, I got 35 huge ones. donated pumpkins and 145kg sweet potatoes from here. It became so successful that I moved the vegetable garden across the street to the amusement park, where I planted Mielies, pumpkins and other crops.
According to Nkuna, he has a “very good relationship” with the park manager allowed him to grow vegetables there.
“On Thursdays the recycling people get food out of my garbage cans. I leave vegetables for them and leave a note that they must take one and leave for others.
“Planting outside was to save money and donate.”
The Things changed on September 9th when two Tshwane subway police officers visited his home.
“The subway officers were very polite and praised my property. I thought they were going to ask about cabbage, but they told me there was a complaint about my garden and that I couldn’t grow vegetables outside.
“They said it was against the rules and whether I was planting wanted vegetables outside, I needed a permit. “
Nkuna said he had until Tuesday to remove the vegetables or face the full power of the law.
He said, he went to the building control offices in Tshwane City on Friday and applied for permission to plant vegetables outside his home.
Nkuna said he was informed that there was no such regulation prohibiting him from doing so To have vegetables in front of his garden.
“You [officials] walked us through the statutes, which say that when planting you can plant whatever you want at your own risk.”
He said he was sent home empty-handed and decided to stop by the subway police offices in Winternest u came to inform her of the situation.
“In my excitement, which I now regret, I went to the Metro Police Department.”
Nkuna claimed that she was from a disgruntled officer who was “upset.”
“He didn’t even greet us and just told us to sit down. I realized this was not going to go well. ”
He said the officer had not listened to his concerns and did not want to notify him in writing of his violation.
Nkuna said When he was out with his wife on Sunday, four officers looked for him at his house.
“You didn’t find me because I wasn’t there, but you spoke to my son and asked me, where I was. They didn’t explain why they were there and just said they would see me on Tuesday. “
With the Tuesday deadline approaching, several lawyers have offered to accept Nkuna pro bono represented.
But Nkuna said he did not want a “life and death fight”.
“If the Tshwane statutes forbid growing cabbage and onions outdoors, I will remove. I’ll chop it.
“If metropolitan officers come tomorrow and tell me to chop the cabbage, I don’t feel like fighting them in court because life has more to offer. I will remove it. My wife is not happy about this, but I don’t feel like fighting.
“There is no need to fight for life and death for a cabbage.”
Tshwane MMC for Community Safety Karen Meyer confirmed it had received a complaint about Nkuna’s vegetable garden.
“TMPD did not focus on this. You have to take care of all complaints and handle them according to the city rules, “she told the community”.
“Permission must be obtained from a landowner before doing anything on someone else’s property. Any proposals to amend the current statutes would be examined, “she said.
” It is right to seek approval from the council first. “
TMPD spokesman Isaac Mahamba told TimesLIVE that Road Traffic The law did not allow obstruction on sidewalks and the offense was punished with a fine of R150 to R1,500, at the discretion of an officer.