Locals are horrified at the behaviour of Table Mountain National Park rangers after a video emerged showing them manhandling top South African cyclist Nicholas Dlamini, who suffered a broken arm because of the assault.
In a video posted to social media today, Dlamini can be seen in a scuffle with Table Mountain rangers. Dlamini is forcefully shoved against an official bakkie during the altercation.
— Lawrence Lindeque (@larrymontana) December 27, 2019
According to SANParks head of communications Rey Thakhuli, Dlamini had entered the park without paying the conservation fee, and when he could not produce a permit upon being stopped by the rangers, a scuffle ensued. In a statement, SANParks says that “the situation spiraled causing the suspect to injure himself during the ordeal.”
Thakuli also said SANParks will be investigating the incident.
Dlamini is currently in hospital with a fracture on his left humerous.
NTT Pro Cycling are now calling on SANParks to implement immediate disciplinary procedures, publically apologise to Dlamini and the eyewitness who filmed the video, as well as to engage with the greater cycling community to forge a greater relationship in future.
Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy tweeted that she has instructed SANParks to suspend all officials involved and implement an independent investigation into the incident.
In a statement, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde also admonished the actions of the rangers.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident in which Nic was injured require a full investigation and I call on SANParks to conduct this investigation thoroughly and with urgency,” reads the statement. “There must be consequences for the heavy-handedness with which the SANParks officials reacted in this situation. Their aggression was evident not only in their attitude toward Nic Dlamini, but also towards other cyclists on the scene, who recorded incident. No matter what the circumstances, there is no excuse for this kind of reaction.”
Winde also says they plan to establish a roundtable discussion between the cycling community and SANParks to heal their “fractured relationship”.