Impounded Air Tanzania plane allowed to leave South Africa

Wednesday September 4 2019

Air Tanzania.

An Air Tanzania plane. A South African court has set aside an earlier decision to impound an Air Tanzania plane. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BBC
By BBC
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A South African court has set aside an earlier decision to impound an Air Tanzania plane, a BBC reporter has tweeted from the court.

On August 24, the plane, an Airbus 220-300, had been prevented from taking off from South Africa’s capital Johannesburg because of a court injunction.

A lawyer had argued in court that a retired farmer was owed at least $13 million in compensation after his land was seized by the Tanzanian government in the 1980s.

The Tanzanian authorities acknowledge that the farmer is owed money, but their lawyer believes South Africa has no jurisdiction over the dispute.

In a tweet using the Twitter handle @TZMsemajiMkuu, Tanzania’s Government spokesman said the court ordered the petitioner to pay costs of the case. He also thanked citizens for their patience as the matter was being resolved.

On August 28, 2019, a group of Tanzanians in Dar es salaam protested against the impounding of the plane and demanded that South Africa release it. The protesters were later dispersed by Tanzanian riot police.

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

- Additional reporting by Valerie Koga.

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