Top South Afircan cyclist Nicholas Dlamini underwent surgery on Saturday to correct a broken arm the 24-year-old suffered when he was manhandled by SANParks rangers. The news was confirmed by his team NTT Pro Cycling.
Dlamini was training at the Silvermine section of the Table Mountain National Park near Cape Town when he was stopped at the side of the road and then forcibly seized by one of four SANParks rangers.
Footage of the incident went viral across social media causing outrage as the park rangers manhandles and twists Dlamini’s left arm behind his back until the sound of a “snap” is heard.
Dlamini shared and revealed his current predicament that has meant he has stopped riding and his participation at Tokyo Olympics 2020 is under threat.
“My first step was to undergo surgery and I am told that this went well, but the surgeon is unable to make a prognosis at this early stage. So, for the moment, I am unable to say when I’ll be back on a bike. My surgeon and the care team will be liaising with the NTT team doctor to establish this.” said Dhlamini.
Minister of Environment, Forestry & Fisheries Barbara Creecy wrote on social media that she had instructed SANParks to suspend all officials involved in the incident.
A spokesman for SANParks confirmed that five park rangers had been suspended in connection with the incident.
“We can confirm that the five rangers that were involved in an altercation with Nic Dlamini have now been suspended after they submitted their representations.” he said.
Dlamini is a Laureus Sports award nominee and one of South Africa’s leading athletes.
Dlamini was memorably captured leading the pack over a bridge in the pouring rain during the Tour of Yorkshire professional cycle race staged in May. He has also competed in the Tour of Spain (Vuelta a Espana) and he won the mountains classification at the 2018 Tour of Britain.
By Gerald Dandah