[PHOTOS] Tokai resident says trees poisoned after he allowed kids to pick fruit
Arthur lives in Tokai and he has allowed anyone to harvest the fruit from the trees he's got on the edge of his property.
But some neighbours say that this has attracted homeless people into the area. Someone has now taken things as far as allegedly poisoning those trees
Refilwe Moloto talks to Arthur about what has been happening.
He says some years ago he decided to brighten up the verges outside his house and planted fruit trees.
Someone approached me and said you must severely trim your two fruit trees or remove them entirely. I said why? And he said, because you attracting the wrong kind of people into our lovely upmarket suburb with all your fruit lying on the ground?Arthur, Resident - Tokai
I said, who are you referring to? Black people, brown people, who do you mean? He giggled and said, well I have never seen any white children picking up off the ground, and gave another giggle.Arthur, Resident - Tokai
Arthur refused to chop down the trees, and this was the start of a series of acts of vandalism against the verges.
Two weeks after this, the first of hundreds of acts of vandalism against the verges started.Arthur, Resident - Tokai
He says it carried on for a number of years.
He says the man who had originally told him to get rid of his trees would drive past him sniggering just before another vandalism incident occurred.
Arthur finally reported the incidents to the Kirstenhof police and named the possible suspect.
Then about two years ago, things took a nasty turn, because, for the first time poison was used.Arthur, Resident - Tokai
Two large oak trees he had planted suddenly died, he says. After posting a reward notice on his gate things quietened down for a few years.
In December he became involved in a tree-planting initiative in Khayelitsha with plans to grow the trees in his garden, and it made the newspapers. He says soon after he began planting the small trees they were poisoned.
This was very close to an old guava tree in his garden estimated to be about 80-years-old.
It yields a harvest of not hundreds, but thousands of guavas.Arthur, Resident - Tokai
Listen to Arthur's interview below:
Photo below by Tokai resident Arthur: 'In my garden, I give the children plastic bags and invite them to help themselves.'
Photo below by Arthur: 'The poison is now being sprayed within CENTIMETRES' says Arthur.
Photo below from Arthur: 'Council workers stand on their truck to pick my guavas from the upper branches'