Court orders release of impounded Tanzanian aircraft


A South African court ordered the release of an Airbus aircraft leased by Tanzania’s national airline impounded as part of a compensation dispute.

The A220-300 plane was impounded last month following a court application by a retired farmer claiming compensation from the Tanzanian government over the expropriation of his land.

The aircraft was scheduled to fly from Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, but was seized on an order issued by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

Roger Wakefield, of Werksmans Attorneys, said his client, an elderly farmer who asked not to be named, was owed $33 million, including interest, in compensation from the Tanzanian government after his land was expropriated decades ago.

The farmer was subsequently awarded compensation after arbitration, he said.

On Wednesday, the High Court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over the matter and dismissed last month’s order.

Tanzania government spokesman Hassan Abbasi confirmed the ruling on Twitter.

Wakefield told Reuters his client had not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling.