Order to impound ATCL plane was wrongly awarded, Tanzanian lawyers tell South African court

Friday August 30 2019

Tanzanian delegation attending the court

Tanzanian delegation attending the court proceedings in South Africa. 

By The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. A team of lawyers dispatched by Tanzania to contest a court order that led to seizure of the ATCL plane has to today August 30, told the Gauteng court that the order to impound the plane was wrongly granted.

“We have shown that the order to impound Air Tanzania’s airbus A220-300 was wrongly granted against the government of Tanzania and that it should be lifted,” Advocate Ngcukaitobi told court.

On the other hand Roger Wakefied who is representing Mr Hermanus Steyn insists that a Prima facie case exists and that a trial court should determine the merits of the case and prospects of success.

According to Steyn’s lawyer, Mr Wakefield, the test for a prima facie have been satisfied.

The plane was impounded on August 23 following an order by High Court of South Africa, Gauteng local division after decades-long legal tussle between the Tanzanian government and a retired white farmer, Mr Hermanus Steyn.

Mr Steyn’s properties, including Rift Valley Seed Company Limitedand other properties were nationalized in January 1982.

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He claimed Sh373 million as compensation, a claim which the Tanzania government thought was unrealistic.

However, Judge Josephat Mackanja (retired) from the high court on July 9, 2010 awarded Mr Steyn $36,375,672.81.

There is evidence that after the issuance of the arbitral award there were negotiations between the two parties leading to a settlement deed of $30 million and subsequently the government of Tanzania paid a bigger portion of the amount to settle the claim.

Speaking to Daily News, the deputy Solicitor General Mr Ally Possi said the eight-man team of lawyers from the attorney general’s office and their South African counterparts will contest the court’s August 21’s court order.

On August 21 an application under the certificate of urgency was filed by Werksman’s Attonrneys requesting to attach any ATCL aircraft as part of enforcement of an arbitral award.

More to follow ……………..