It’s no coincidence that self-styled British “adventurist” Tom Morgan was already out of South Africa last week when British news outlets released the gushing story about his “triumph” at flying 24km on a chair tethered to 100 helium-filled balloons.
This happened more than 2 000m above the ground in the Magaliesberg area – which happens to be the busiest airspace on the African continent.
Morgan didn’t apply for permission from civil aviation authorities to carry out the stunt – because they would undoubtedly have refused and, had they known in time, would have arrested and charged him with violating our laws.
Make no mistake: this man is no brave daredevil. He is a sneaky publicity hound who knowingly put the safety of thousands of aircraft passengers at risk in his contraption, which had no power and no control. He wouldn’t have been allowed to do this in Europe, so he decided to try it in a Third World country.
That colonial-type arrogance is breathtaking. We urge the authorities in South Africa to take the strongest action possible – pressing charges against him in Britain, or extraditing him here. The message must be clear: treat us with respect.