SA Court orders release of impounded Air Tanzania plane

JOHANNESBURG – The impounded Air Tanzania plane grounded at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for several weeks, over money owing to a retired farmer whose land was seized decades ago by the Tanzanian government, is now free to leave following a new court order.

The new court decision set aside an earlier ruling to impound the Airbus 220-300 over millions of dollars owed to the Namibian-born farmer in compensation after his Tanzanian farm was nationalised in the 1980s, the BBC reported.

Tanzanian authorities acknowledge that the farmer is owed money and had paid back some of what was owed but the farmer’s lawyer believes that another $13 million is still owing.

However, lawyers for the Tanzanian authorities believe that South Africa has no jurisdiction over the dispute.

A Tanzanian government spokesman said the court also ordered the petitioner to pay court costs.

Following the grounding of the plane in August, Tanzanian riot police had to forcibly disperse protesters.

Air Tanzania revived flights to South Africa in June, a move aimed at bolstering relations and boosting tourism between the two countries.

– African News Agency (ANA)