Statement by Premier Alan Winde on the SANParks incident involving Nic Dlamini
Today, I visited cyclist Nic Dlamini in hospital. He is calm but in shock. His doctors are currently dealing with his injuries.
The circumstances surrounding the incident in which Nic was injured require a full investigation and I call on SANParks to conduct this investigation thoroughly and with urgency. There must be consequences for the heavy-handedness with which the SANParks officials reacted in this situation. Their aggression was evident not only in their attitude toward Nic Dlamini, but also towards other cyclists on the scene, who recorded incident.
No matter what the circumstances, there is no excuse for this kind of reaction.
This incident has revealed the fractured relationship between the cycling community and SANParks and my office will be establishing a round table discussion in a bid to repair this relationship. This incident undermines Brand South Africa, at a time where our economy can ill-afford further damage to our brand and our tourism economy.
The Western Cape has worked hard to position ourselves as a cyclist-friendly destination. The province is home to some of the world’s top cycling events and draws thousands of cyclists, their families and their support teams annually. We are determined to preserve this image.
As such, my office has already been in contact with the National Minister of Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy’s office, as well as with the CEO of SANParks.
SANParks must urgently act to put this situation right and to ensure that no further incidents of a similar nature occur in the future.