Popular cyclist Nicholas Dlamini is out of surgery and recovering in hospital after his arm was broken during a scuffle with South African National Parks (SANParks) officials, a friend tweeted on Saturday afternoon.
Sven Thiele posted a picture of Dlamini, who was accosted by five SANParks officials on Friday at the Silvermines Section of the Table Mountain National Park.
“He is out of surgery but super, super tired…but also totally humbled by all the massive support and love out there,” he tweeted.
Dlamini’s cycling club, NTT Pro Cycling earlier in the day thanked the public for their support saying he was in a Cape Town hospital.
“We want to thank everyone for their messages of support.”
SanParks announced that the five Table Mountain rangers involved in the scuffle were since placed on precautionary suspension.
SANParks acting CEO Lize McCourt said the five were on precautionary suspension pending the finalisation of the investigation.
McCourt expressed regret at the turn of events and assured the public that the organisation is taking the matter seriously and “will afford Mr Dlamini and his family all the necessary support at this stage”.
A video of the incident was widely shared on social media platforms.
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.
After visiting Dlamini in hospital, Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy instructed SANParks to suspend the officers involved.
SANParks is also in the process of appointing an independent service provider to conduct a preliminary investigation following the incident.