EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi took to Twitter to weigh in on a story which emerged yesterday, of an SAA pilot who had been employed at the airline since 1994, flying the entire time without the proper licence.
“This white man lived a lie for 20 years. Two decades of a fake identity!” he tweeted.
He then expressed his view that there “many more white people” progress professionally over black professionals “without ANY qualifications and the job ‘experience’ they often demand from others”.
Ndlozi ended the tweet with the hashtag #WhitePrivilege, which trended on Twitter as a result of the tweet.
This white man lived a lie for 20 years. Two decades of a fake identity!
I see that; but what is more TRAGIC is that many more white people boss over black professionals PROUDLY without ANY qualifications & the job “experience” they often demand from others. #WhitePrivilege https://t.co/7qHib6FRdC
— #OurLandAndJobsNow (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) March 12, 2019
Ndlozi’s tweet was mainly met with criticism. One user accused the EFF spokesperson of “race-baiting” and asked for “evidence”, another (who appears to himself be black) said “we don’t always have to push the race narrative” and one decrying his use of “identity politics”.
Oh please!!! Half of Gov has lied on their CV’s and get away with it and take home salaries PROUDLY!
— ross (@therealhamster) March 12, 2019
You could look at it like that or…. dude genuinely wanted to be a pilot, he wasn't pushing an agenda, he was doing a service for the country. Yearly. For 20 years. No accidents. So uh. We don't always have to push the race narrative.
— BOOTYBOIPLXY.???? (@bootyboiplay) March 12, 2019
Evidence? A name even? I mean when exactly did you (a non- professional) work in a corporate? What is the methodology you employed to give us this valuable insight? Or is this mere race baiting?
— Alex (a legitimate businessman) (@AlexrRudi) March 12, 2019
More identity politics! Specific jobs require minimum levels of competence as per an accredited institute e.g. neurosurgeon, commercial pilot etc. The reasons are obvious. The minimum level of competence a politician requires is the ability to inhale and exhale.
— vg naidoo (@vgnaidoo) March 12, 2019
Ndlozi’s tweet was a reaction to the news that an SAA pilot, William Chandler, was recently forced to resign after the airline said he had been flying without the proper documentation.
“His attorneys handed him over (to the police) this morning,” national police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo told AFP.
Police said Chandler was charged with forgery.
He was granted R5,000 bail and ordered to appear in court on May 15.
South African Airways (SAA) has said Chandler claimed to possess an Airline Transport Pilot Licence — an advanced licence permitting him to fly large passenger planes.
READ MORE: Ramaphosa still sold out, says Ndlozi
But he only had a commercial pilot licence, which is for small aircraft and requires far less training and experience.
SAA has not revealed how long he had flown under false pretences, the number of passengers he flew, or the types of aircraft he had piloted.
But according to media reports, Chandler had been employed at the national carrier since 1994.
SAA has said the falsehood came to light last November when an Airbus A340-600 plane he was co-piloting to Germany encountered turbulence and he had to perform a recovery manoeuvre.
The crew were grounded and evaluated in line with safety procedures, and at that point, the subterfuge was discovered, the airline said.
SAA has said it would seek to recover “millions of rand” in wages from Chandler.