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South African Black Twitter Responds to a Pilot Flying for 20 Years Without a License

Twenty years of piloting without being caught out? Sounds about white if you ask us.

A senior pilot for South Africa's national airline South African Airways (SAA) has resigned after it was discovered (after twenty years) that he never had a legitimate piloting license to begin with. Black twitter is having a field day with the news as they reflect on how this narrative is not unheard of in a country where 'White is always right'.


William Chandler, who has been a senior pilot for SAA and flown thousands of hours in his 20-year career, does not have an airline transport pilot licence (ATPL). He never did. It is, however, bewildering that SAA and the aviation certification body did not notice that Chandler had fraudulent papers. ATPLs are required to be renewed each year with medical and physical examinations as well as technical re-evaluations and so it is most flabbergasting that Chandler flew under the radar (pun intended) for so long. But then again, Chandler is white.

According to the Mail&Guardian, SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said:

"When faced with reportable incidents such as this one, the airline undertakes investigations to gather relevant details, establish facts and make determination on what course of action must be embarked on, whether remedial, disciplinary or otherwise. This process forms part of our standard operating procedures."

Black South Africans on Twitter are not having it. They are highlighting just how much White South Africans can get away with such things purely because their whiteness allows them to be assumed as legitimately competent.

Interestingly enough, some White South Africans are jumping to Chandler's defense and saying that he still managed to fly well (not really) despite not having a license. Go figure.
















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Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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