The “Oudtshoorn flying circus” story in last month’s Noseweek has attracted much comment, not all of it rational. The story, lest you’ve forgotten, was about how some residents of Oudtshoorn are upset that the peace and quiet has been destroyed by a flying school that trains Chinese pilots, but that like all things Chinese these days, appears to be untouchable.
On 28 November the Acting Municipal Manager, one L Prins responded with a cracker of a media release which began:
The Oudtshoorn Municipality is discombobulated by the angle…the story clearly mimics a Lilliputian cadre of Oudtshoorn soi disant rich and famous… not a velleity of correct information for several country miles of this little gem. And that’s just the first line… surely such a spectacularly unfortunate opening line adumbrates folderol to follow…
At roughly the same time that Noseweek’s story came out, an article on the flying schooll appeared in the Mail & Guardian. Titled, “Chinese Cadets take to sunny skies and braais”, it told in a puff what sort of article this would be.
The M&G article did,however, contain one thing that we found interesting: