On Friday afternoon plane watchers noticed that private aircraft ZS-OAK – named after Gupta family company Oakbay – was on its way to South Africa.
Various maps that chartered its progress were soon closely watched.
Eyewitness News was there when the plane landed at Lanseria, and reported that only two pilots with a small suitcase disembarked.
The Gupta family wants to appeal a court ruling that the plane, which became something of a symbol of their wealth, must be returned to the Canadian company that funded its acquisition.
It was not immediately clear why the plane returned – but now that it is back in South Africa, it will probably not be going anywhere.
"I can't see that anybody will give clearance for it to take off again," said an official at Lanseria, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak to the media.
"Nobody wants to be the one who signs off saying 'let it go' and then you are the one in trouble."