Last fall on angel wings

By admin
14 January 2011

At the beginning of last year businessman Rob Taylor gave an Audi R8 worth more than R2 million to eight car guards who worked on the slopes of Table Mountain.

A year later an ambulance waited in the same car park for rescuers to bring his body down from the mountainside.

On Sunday 9 January, in full view of tourists on the mountain, he removed his backpack and spread his arms, revealing his angel-wing tattoos. Then he launched himself off the edge.

People who knew him say he was weighed down in the last year of his life. Materialism upset him and he almost feverishly looked for ways to give his money to people who had less than he did.

Then there were the accidents. Eyewitnesses of the boating tragedy on the Midmar Dam in December 2006 say it was a freak accident in which Clinton Aupiais (16) was killed. It was Rob’s boat and he was there when the accident happened.

Then in 2009 two women were involved in fatal parachuting accidents on his property – one became entangled in powerlines and the other opened her parachute too late.

Clayton Miles (34), one of the eight Cape Town car guards to whom Rob generously gave his Audi R8, was shocked by news of his death.

Days after the tragedy he recalls the day he met Rob. “It was 11 January last year. We were talking about all sorts of things. Rob was a rich man and he wanted to help people but he didn’t want to register an organisation because he thought people would become greedy.”

Rob had planned to base jump off Table Mountain that day, Clayton says, but didn’t have the necessary permit. “That was a good thing because we felt in his state of mind he might jump without a parachute.”

That day Rob gave them the car and bought himself a scooter to get around. He also gave R10 000 to four of the guards.

“If there were problems with his family I don’t know about it,” Clayton says. “I met his wife only once but I could see they were having a difficult time. She wanted him to come back home but he didn’t want to hear about it.”

“There were a lot of things Rob still wanted to do,” Clayton says. “He’d drawn up building plans for a shelter. Now he’s gone . . .’’

Read more about the tragedy in YOU, 20 January 2011.

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