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South African MP gets drunk on a plane, tries to open door mid-flight

South African MP Dirk Feldman got drunk while flying to India on an official visit, and apparently decided he wanted to leave the plane.
South africa drunk mp india 20120709Enlarge
The first of the six new South African Airways (SAA) Airbus A330-200 long-range jetliners is sprayed with water to mark its first landing in Cape Town on February 8, 2011. South African MP Dirk Feldman got hosed while flying to India on an official visit, and drunkenly tried to open the SAA plane door mid-flight. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Dirk Feldman, a South African MP, is getting hammered by political opponents for his "drunken escapades" aboard a flight to India.

Feldman, who flew from Johannesburg to Mumbai on Saturday as part of an official parliamentary delegation, had a few drinks too many and apparently decided to leave the plane, South Africa's Beeld newspaper reported.

He began fumbling with the emergency door of the South African Airways plane, trying to open it.

Feldman, a National Council of Provinces MP with the opposition Congress of the People (Cope) party, was detained for a few hours by Indian security authorities, and then sent back to South Africa.

"He had too much to drink and they say he lost his inhibitions," Cope's chief whip Dennis Bloem told Beeld.

The ruling African National Congress party — which Cope split from in 2008 — today issued a media statement condemning Feldman's "in-flight drunken escapades."

Such behavior on an official overseas trip "places this Parliament and the country in a negative light both internationally and at home," the statement said.

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