Africa

South Africa police 'recover car stolen 22 years ago'

Derrick Goosen's 1988 Toyota Corolla Image copyright Supplied to News24
Image caption Derrick Goosen said the car was of sentimental value

A South African man is to be reunited with his car 22 years after it was stolen in the capital, Pretoria.

"The car was still in mint condition; nothing was missing - not even the battery," Derrick Goosen told South Africa's News24 website.

Police in the northern province of Limpopo stopped the Toyota Corolla at a road block last November.

One officer then spent months tracing the owner, as the registration and chassis numbers had been removed.

Once Mr Goosen was contacted, he had to drive about 250km (155 miles) north of Pretoria to identify the vehicle.

"The car was of sentimental value to me. I loved it and I am grateful I've found it," the 44-year-old is quoted as saying.

According to News24, the car had been used as a taxi for many years until it was bought by an unsuspecting police officer in Limpopo for about 22,000 South African rand ($1,569; £1,004).

"She had all the paperwork indicating she was the owner, but she didn't know it was a stolen car and the information had been changed," Mr Goosen said.

Plans are now under way to return that car to its first owner.

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