A disturbing video was posted on Twitter today showing SANParks officials man-handling South African rider Nicholas Dlamini to such an extent that his arm was broken. The WorldTour rider was stopped by the officials in the Silvermine section of Table Mountain National Park on Friday, NTT Pro Cycling have confirmed.
In the video footage of the incident, one of the park rangers can be seen pushing Dlamini against the side of a Table Mountain National Park van. He then twists Dlamini’s left arm behind his back up towards his head and a snapping sound can be heard. The park ranger then roughly moves Dlamini towards the back of the van before pushing him inside.
Following the incident, which was caught on film by a fellow cyclist, Nicholas was taken to False Bay Hospital where x-rays were carried out and was confirmed that he suffered a fracture of his left humerus. He has since been transferred to another local hospital where further specialist consultation, together with his team’s medical department, will decide on the next course of action to treat the injury.
This is a major setback for the Capetonian who had been out on a training ride ahead of the 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. He also recently was part of a delegation that travelled to Tokyo and spent some time on the Olympic Road Race course in the hopes of being selected for Team South Africa at the Games.
NTT Pro Cycling (formerly Dimension Data for Qhubeka) have since released the following statement:
NTT Pro Cycling would like to be clear that we fully condemn violence in any form and are all highly distressed to see our teammate treated in this manner.
As such, and following the release of the video, NTT Pro Cycling calls upon SANParks to urgently account for the following:
- The level and scale of physicality employed by the officials in subduing Nicholas, which saw him fracture his arm. 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 subsequent release of this video on social media has gathered huge momentum, around the world. As one of South Africa’s premier tourist attractions what type of message does this send to both local and foreign visitors who want to visit it
- 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.
We also call on SANParks to:
- Implement immediate disciplinary procedures against the officials involved.
- A full public apology to both Nicholas, as well as the eyewitness, who was clearly intimidated by the officials while filming this incident.
- Following 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.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal – “I was both devastated and appalled to see the video of Nicholas on social media. To watch a young man who I know so well in such unnecessary distress made me feel sick, to be honest. The way in which he was treated is simply not acceptable.”