Firstly, on behalf of my family we would like to thank the many individuals from Pictou County, around the province and across the nation who have expressed their empathy to us in light of the incident in which our son, Nhlanhla Dlamini, was shot with a nail gun while at work. Many have expressed shock and disbelief as well as outrage that this has happened. Our son’s story has the potential to spark many positive conversations that can bring change as once again we are forced to confront the issue of racism in our community, and this is indeed our hope. The situation also has the potential to create further conflict and division, thus we respectfully request that in voicing your feelings about the incident, the community refrain from name-calling and personal attacks against the Accused as well as the owner of the company, PQ Properties Ltd., Mr. Paul Quinn.
What really happened that day is the subject of a court case, and we hope and believe that justice will be served. However, what has greatly offended our family is the position taken by Mr Paul Quinn and released through his lawyer Craig Clarke of MacIsaac Clarke & Duffy that our son’s injury was “not serious.” When I arrived at the hospital on the day of the incident, I phoned Mr. Quinn from my cell phone and spoke to him directly, with 4 people present in the room who witnessed my part of the conversation. I told him that I was with our son in Emergency, and that he was awaiting an operation as his lung had been punctured by a nail and had partially collapsed. I have phone records to prove that a conversation between myself and Mr. Quinn happened.
I wish to highlight that at no point has Mr .Quinn contacted our family or our son to get his version of the events of Sept. 19th. The first official statement from Mr Quinn through his lawyer Mr. Clarke was that the injury required basic treatment with a Band-Aid on site, and that even at the hospital the injury was also treated with only a Band-Aid. This information is patently false, and we do not know where it came from. As a family we find this to be profoundly disrespectful and insulting. This disrespect has not only affected us as a family, but has also affected the entire black community here in Pictou County, and beyond. This is evidenced by the anti-racism rally held in New Glasgow on Monday October 8th. What is indisputable is that Nhlanhla was hospitalized for four days from Sept. 19 – Sept. 22, and that he spent three of these days with a tube inserted into his chest cavity to release the air that had built up once the accused pulled the nail from his back.
As a family, we are asking for a public apology from Mr. Quinn for saying that injury was “not serious.” He knew it was serious, because I told him. It must be publicly recognized that our son’s life, and his body, matters.