An aircraft flying Madagascar's exiled former leader Marc Ravalomanana home from South Africa on Saturday was ordered to turn round by Malagasy authorities and has landed back in Johannesburg, a spokesman travelling with Ravalomanana said.

We are still on the plane on the tarmac. We were turned around about two hours into the flight after we entered Madagascar airspace, the spokesman said.

Another spokesman had earlier said the plane had been diverted to Mozambique. Ravalomanana's latest attempt to return could have led to his arrest and would have raised political tensions on the Indian Ocean island.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by Tim Pearce)