Cape Town - A Cape Town student is nursing his bruises and has spoken about his terrifying ordeal following an attack by a group of cyclists.
A film clip of the incident has gone viral on social media.
Ibrahim Waggie, a 19-year-old studying human resource management at Northlink College in Tygerberg, had been volunteering at a charity event on Sunday, the Sunshine D Polar Ice Cream 10km Big Walk.
His job was to drive a Toyota Quantum van, sponsored by Market Toyota, which tailed the field. Fellow volunteers in his van had to pick up empty water sachets along the route.
An onlooker, motorist Symon Scott, recorded a video, with his cellphone, of what happened next, and posted it to Facebook.
Under the video Scott said: “I was driving on Beach Road towards Cape Town, just past the Pavilion. There are two lanes and I was in the right-hand lane. I found myself approaching a bunch of about 20 cyclists, probably practising for the Argus Cycle Tour. They were in the left lane, but many were riding abreast so some were even encroaching into the right-hand lane, past the centre line.
“Further ahead was a stationary vehicle that was double parked but it went unnoticed by the leader of the group who was looking back and communicating to the rest of the team. The group were moving swiftly and only at the last second when the leader again faced forwards, did he see the vehicle… He had to swerve violently to avoid the vehicle and this obviously upset him. He stopped his bicycle abruptly and flew into a violent rage. The entire peloton pulled up in support and some followed his lead.
“I… filmed the violence unfolding before me. You can clearly see how they battered the vehicle, bent the windscreen wipers, pepper-sprayed the driver, tried to steal his keys, assaulted him with a bicycle wheel and punched him and the passenger in the face repeatedly. There was a lot more going down than what you can see in the video,” Scott said.
A friend took the video to the Sea Point police station. It has since attracted a large viewership on social media, as well as a barrage of comments.
The Cape Argus on Monday tracked down Waggie, who said: “I was driving down Sea Point Beach Road. There were these water sachets and the guys at the back of the van were spraying each other. There were about 30 cyclists taking up one whole lane, and I overtook them. I don’t know if they got wet from the water sachets they were playing with in the back, or if one of the sachets hit them.
“I stopped at a red robot, where the guys would pick up sachets, when this man just started hitting me.
“I didn’t know for what reason.
“One guy hit me with the wheel of his bicycle twice. One hit me with fists. I was sprayed three times with pepper spray. It was for 15-20 minutes and I couldn’t drive away because I couldn’t see,” Waggie said.
Then they opened the side of the door, to try and get to the passengers, but as they opened the door they ran out again, they couldn’t handle the smell of the pepper spray.
“Eventually I went to this road where they couldn’t see us and I called my father, and he took me to the police.”
Waggie said someone with him had recognised some of the cyclists as members of the Muhammadeyah Cycling Club, Wynberg.
The club said on its Facebook page: “We are currently liaising with the relevant parties and investigating the matter.” It would report back its findings “as soon as possible”.
Events director for the walk, Dr Elias Parker, confirmed the attack.
“We have also made an attempt to engage with the club… but, failing that, the law must take its course.”
The Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust condemned the incident and said it would be working with the Pedal Power Association to “identify those involved, following which the names will be forwarded to the authorities for a formal investigation”.
Police spokesman FC van Wyk said “cases of common assault and malicious damage to property were opened at Sea Point police station on Sunday”.
No suspects had been arrested, and witnesses were asked to contact Sea Point detective branch at 021 430 3700 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111.