In Summary
  • The seized Airbus jet is valued at around $90 million, according to Wakefield.

  • Lawyer Roger Wakefield of Werksmans Attorneys said the seizure followed an order granted by the High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

  • The Namibian-born Tanzanian farm owner was awarded $33 million in compensation in the 1990s -- but the government only paid $20 million.

Johannesburg,

South Africa has impounded a plane belonging to Tanzania's national carrier over a farmer's $33-million compensation claim for his land which the Tanzanian government nationalised decades ago, a lawyer said Sunday.

The Air Tanzania aircraft was seized on Friday at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport after it landed during a scheduled flight from Tanzanian economic capital Dar-es Salaam.

Lawyer Roger Wakefield of Werksmans Attorneys said the seizure followed an order granted by the High Court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

SMALL PLANES

In the 1980s, Tanzania's government nationalised a massive, privately-owned bean and seed farm, seizing everything including equipment, 250 cars and 12 small planes.

The Namibian-born Tanzanian farm owner, who the lawyer refused to name, was awarded $33 million in compensation in the 1990s -- but the government only paid $20 million.

The outstanding balance of $16 million has accrued interest over the decades and now stands at $33 million, according to the lawyer who specialises in cross-border disputes.

The farmer has been fighting for years to get the outstanding amount.

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