Nic Dlamini’s cycling calendar for 2020 compromised by SANParks injury, says cycling team

A screenshot where Nic Dlamini was allegedly assaulted by rangers at the Table Mountain National Park.
A screenshot where Nic Dlamini was allegedly assaulted by rangers at the Table Mountain National Park.
Image: Twitter/Lawrence Lindeque

The NTT Pro Cycling club that top SA cyclist Nic Dlamini belongs to on Friday confirmed that the injury he suffered at the hands of SANParks rangers would have an impact on the competitions he had scheduled for 2020.

Dlamini was confirmed to have a fracture of his left humerus.

An x-ray showing the break.
An x-ray showing the break.
Image: Vanessa Sandes via Twitter

“This is a major setback for the Capetonian who had been out on a training ride ahead of a hugely promising 2020 season. The 24-year-old had just completed a very promising 2019 which included his first Grand Tour, the Vuelta a Espana, and he was looking at following that up with further participation in some of the sport’s biggest races in 2020,” the club said in a statement.

“Nicholas has an extensive race programme for 2020 already in place. This unnecessary injury will now have a serious effect on that, as well as his chances of racing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games,” the club added.

Dlamini was injured during a scuffle with SANParks rangers in the Silvermine section of Table Mountain National Park on Friday.

The incident was caught on camera by another cyclist, Donovan le Cok.

He said the amount of force used by the rangers was ridiculous and unnecessary.

“[Dlamini] was trying to exit the park and rode through the exit where there were six SANParks officials who grabbed his handlebars on his bicycle to try and stop him. That made him crash. He fell off his bike, hurt himself, got up and was confronted by a senior ranger. There was a bit of a discussion. I had actually come up to the scene because those particular rangers are notorious for being aggressive,” said Le Cok during an interview with 702.

“I could see the situation was escalating at which point I started filming. The senior ranger just laid into him and basically just attacked him, turned him around, twisted his arm. You can hear his arm breaking in the video. Nic was then screaming, ‘I’ve broken my arm, I’ve broken my arm’, at which point they threw him into the back of the bakkie. He just continued screaming.”

Le Cok said he was forced to stop filming as the rangers turned their focus to him.

SANParks, however, said the rangers had confronted Dlamini after receiving information that he had entered the park without the required payment and did not have the documentation.

Spokesperson Reynold Thakuli had told TimesLIVE that Dlamini had injured himself as he resisted arrest.

“The rangers were alerted of the situation, found him and requested the entry ticket which he could not produce. It seems he was aggressive to the rangers and he resisted arrest. Unfortunately, he broke his arm as the scuffle ensued,” Thakuli said.

The rangers reportedly took him to hospital.

“On his arrival, his colleagues or friends were aggressive to the ranger. They wanted to take the keys to the SANParks bakkie,” Thakuli added.

He said they would investigate the matter.

But Dlamini’s cycling club said they were concerned by the force used by the rangers.

“Despite being visibly distressed after being pulled off his bicycle at high speed, which saw him crash, there can be no justification for the level of violence meted out to him,” the club said.

It added that this incident had brought international shame on the park.

“As one of SA’s premier tourist attractions what type of message does this send to both local and foreign visitors who want to visit it?”

The club called for an apology to Dlamini and Le Cok who was confronted and for disciplinary action to be taken against the rangers.

“After the enormous response to this incident, it’s clear that SANParks need to engage with the greater cycling community in Cape Town to forge a positive relationship for the future. We look forward to seeing them take the lead in this respect,” the club added.

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