Tanzania Government - ATCL Plane Seizure Has Nothing to Do With South Africa Airways

Dar es Salaam — The government of Tanzania through its spokesperson Dr Hassan Abbasi yesterday said the impounding of an ATCL aircraft on Friday has got nothing to do with the airline's past dealings with South Africa Airways.

Speaking on TBC 1 last night, Dr Abbasi said it was rather a case that dates back in the 1980s involving a South African farmer whose farm and other properties were nationalised by the then government.

"The government and the farmer agreed for the farm to be nationalized however, the issue arose on the compensation. It came to a point where both parties agreed and the farmer was paid a certain amount during the fourth phase government," said Dr Abbasi.

Dr Abbasi further added that there was still room for Tanzania to appeal the court ruling after the farmer applied for the enforcement of foreign arbitration award.

"Our team of lawyers is working on this and this plane shall soon resume work as normal," he said.

In another development, Mr Roger Wakefield of Werksmans Attorneys said his client, an elderly farmer, was owed $33-million -- including interest -- in compensation from the Tanzanian government after his farm was expropriated several decades ago.

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The ATCL aircraft - an Airbus 220-300 was seized on Friday at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport after it landed during a scheduled flight from Dar-es Salaam.

Mr Leonard Chamuriho, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, said the government had been informed by its ambassador to South Africa about the development.

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