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Fugitive prisoner Thabo Bester and celebrity doctor Nandipha Magudumana are now back in the country, with their specially chartered flight landing at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg in the early hours of Thursday.

The two lovers, who went on the run in March after news of his escape from a Bloemfontein jail emerged, were caught in Tanzania last Friday together with a Mozambican national believed to have assisted them to cross borders and evade law-enforcement authorities.

A government delegation then travelled to Tanzania to secure their return to South Africa.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola and Police Minister Bheki Cele are expected to provide more details at a media conference planned for 8.30am this Thursday in Cape Town.

Bester escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre – privately managed by the British security firm G4S – on 3 May last year by faking his own death in a fire and planting a corpse in his cell.

He was serving a life sentence for raping two women and murdering one of them after he had lured them via the social media platform Facebook.

For nearly a year after his prison break, Bester was reportedly living a lavish lifestyle with Magudumana in Johannesburg’s upmarket Hyde Park suburb until recent DNA tests revealed the charred remains found in his cell belonged to someone else.

While the manhunt for the fugitive criminal and his girlfriend was underway, it emerged that Magudumana had allegedly stolen three bodies from Free State mortuaries in a bid to help his boyfriend to escape from jail.

She reportedly claimed one of the bodies was her father’s.

The body was later found dumped in Bloemspruit dam a week later and it still had the mortuary’s identification tag attached to the toe, according to the Sunday Times.

This led to the arrest of Magudumana’s father, Zolile Sekeleni, who made a brief appearance in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Tuesday alongside prison warder Senohe Matsoara.

They have been charged with murder, arson and aiding and abetting Bester’s daring break from prison.

On Wednesday, the police announced they had made two more arrests in connection with the case.

A 44-year-old man contracted to a company that installs and maintains cameras at the Mangaung Correctional Centre is expected to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court this Thursday following his arrest on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old man is in police custody where he is being questioned after he was caught in Lichtenburg, North West, driving a white Porsche Cayenne vehicle believed to belong to Magudumana. – Staff Reporter

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