Millionaire planned death jump for a year

2011-01-15 18:15

Millionaire philanthropist Rob Taylor had been planning his jump to death from Table Mountain for a year, and last Sunday he accomplished his mission.

He spread his tattooed arms like an angel before “flying off”, his close friends said this week.

They said his death wasn’t a ­suicide, but rather a jump that “would have given him an out-of-body ­experience”.

“Rob had been planning this jump for more than a year. He became a spiritual person and would definitely not have wanted people to think that he committed ­suicide,” said a close friend who wanted to remain anonymous.

Taylor (61) had a special affinity for Table Mountain – the centre of his spiritual universe. But the ­enigmatic property developer from Howick in KwaZulu-Natal, who once donated a R2?million Audi R8 to car guards, was apparently highly upset last Sunday because the guards had sold the car.

According to his friends the car was also a gift to Table Mountain. “He also gave the car to the mountain. The guards were only supposed to look after the vehicle.

“His idea was that anyone who wanted to drive up Table Mountain can use the Audi. He was very angry when he heard the Audi was not on the mountain any more.”

Taylor made his millions as a property developer in Howick and was an avid parachutist – tattooed on his arms was the emblem of the Angel Sky parachute club. He started the club two years ago and this week a message on the memorial stand at the club read: “Blue skies, Rob. We will miss you!”

Vernon Klopper from Angel Sky agreed that Taylor had been planning his jump and that his death was his personal flight to freedom. “His motto was to never fear life.”

Some of Taylor’s friends in Cape Town this week revealed that he also gave an aeroplane to an unknown person and 12 Vespa motorbikes to his friends. He was also in trouble with the SA Revenue Service because he refused to pay personal income tax last year.

A friend said: “Rob was angry with the government and said they are not for the people any more. He did not want to pay for the parties of Zuma and Malema.”

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