A witness who filmed Friday’s altercation in which cyclist Nicholas Dlamini’s arm was broken says the rider was not aggressive towards SANParks officers. Donovan le Cok said in a statement that he got to the scene when Dlamini was already off his bike.
“What they had done is, it’s a downhill to the exit and they sort of jumped out and grabbed his handlebar to make him stop which made him fall, obviously. Nic was quite upset, he was hurt and his bike was damaged.”
“At that point there was a heated discussion with the head ranger, Nic wasn’t aggressive towards him, trying to get away or resisting being detained. The guy just laid into, turned him around, and twisted his arm high above his head,” Le Cok said.
He detailed how he had to stop filming the altercation, as he said that the rangers were trying to grab his phone.
Le Cok’s video has been widely shared on social media. In it four rangers can be seen aggressively trying to shove Dlamini into the back of a van. During the scuffle you can hear the sound of what appears to be Dlamini’s arm breaking after a ranger attempts to place Dlamini’s arms behind his back. Following the incident Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy instructed SANParks to suspend the officers involved.
“I had the opportunity to visit Nic at the hospital where he is undergoing treatment. I have instructed SANParks, the chairperson and senior management of SANParks to suspend the officers who were involved in this incident.
“I have also instructed them to undertake an independent investigation so that we can have the full facts,” Creecy said.
News24 reported earlier that the matter was under investigation, with SANParks obtaining statements from the rangers who were involved in the scuffle as well as Dlamini.
Creecy said while all the facts were yet to be obtained, from what she had seen in the circulating video clip, it appeared that the officers “behaved in a highly inappropriate manner”.
In a statement, Dlamini’s cycling team, NTT Pro Cycling, said following the incident, the 24-year-old was taken to False Bay Hospital where X-rays were taken, and it was confirmed that he had suffered a fracture of his left humerus. He was then transferred to another hospital for further specialist consultation.