South African justice validates “piracy” of cargo of Moroccan phosphate

South African justice validated “piracy” of a 500,000-ton cargo of Moroccan phosphate in a judgment underpinned by “purely political connotation”.

The ruling was issued on Friday (February 23), after the ship, Cherry Blossom, that was carrying the cargo was hailed on May 1, 2017 in the maritime waters of South Africa.

The cargo of Moroccan phosphate was destined for the New Zealand company “Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited”, an OCP customer.

The High Court of South Africa has thus sided with the Polisario, following a complaint that the separatist front’s representative had filed with South African courts.

In its ruling, the High Court sitting in Port Elizabeth, claimed that the plaintiff in this case, namely the pseudo-Sahrawi Republic “SADR”, was the true owner of the cargo. In other words, this court considers a phantom entity, not recognized by the United Nations, as the owner of the resources extracted from the Moroccan Sahara and subsequently that the OCP group and its subsidiary Phosboucraa were not entitled to sell the phosphate extracted from the mines of Boucraa.

The court, however, postponed its decision on which side, the pseudo “SADR” or South Africa, should compensate the shipowner whose ship remained boarded for more than nine months in Port Elizabeth.

Reacting to the ruling of the South African Court, the Moroccan group OCP assures on its Twitter account, that the cargo “belongs rightfully to Phosboucraa” and that it was “hacked” by South African authorities.

For the OCP, the “unfounded” verdict was predictable since the South African regime is, with Algeria, the main sponsor of the Polisario. Yet, despite this injustice, the OCP Group voices its determination to continue contributing to the socio-economic development of Morocco, from North to South.

Many legal experts explain the ruling as a mere act of international piracy whereby South Africa acts in place of the United Nations, which is the only international institution empowered to arbitrate territorial disputes, including the Sahara.

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