A co-accused in the kidnap and brutal murder of a student by a spurned married lover and taxi owner is back behind bars.
The Soweto man failed to appear in court last week when two of his accomplices were each sentenced to 25 years at the Rustenburg circuit court, in North West, yesterday.
The man had been on the run for six days after being convicted of murder.
Thabo Stanley Mabaso, 31, of Tshiawelo, Soweto, was out on bail and was expected back in court for sentencing last Wednesday.
Instead he chose to become a fugitive from law.
Mabaso's accomplices Solomon Mpofu, 32, and Dennis Makitla, 26, had pleaded guilty to the murder of Petunia Kwenane, 21, of Mabieskraal, North West.
Judge Ronald Hendricks had issued a warrant of arrest for Mabaso who was tracked down by the police to his hide-out in Orange Farm, in the Vaal, on Monday.
Last week Mpofu, a taxi owner and a married father of six, told the court that the trio killed Kwenane, his mistress, because she had dumped him.
Mpofu said he, Makitla and Mabaso had planned to kill Kwenane on May 4 last year.
"At Mabieskraal we met Kwenane on her way to school and ordered her to get into our car. We drove at high speed to a veld outside her village where we killed her," said Mpofu.
Makitla testified that they killed Kwenane by gouging her eyes with a pair of scissors and strangling her with a tyre tube.
He said they dumped her body in the bush and headed back to Johannesburg.
Her decomposed and mutilated body was found nine days later by her mother, Violet Kwenane. Her lips, lower jaw, ribs, left arm and intestines were missing.
Mpofu said: "When Kwenane's mother called me about her child's whereabouts I pretended that I knew nothing about it and pretended to help her."
The three were arrested during the young woman's funeral in Mabieskraal.