Malawi’s self-styled prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary have been unconditionally released by a magistrate in the capital, Lilongwe, following their arrest on Wednesday.
Their lawyer, Wapona Kita, asked the court to release the two unconditionally, saying their arrest had been illegal.
The state prosecutor had asked the court to allow police to keep the couple in custody for a further 30 days to allow for the South African government to formally submit an extradition request.
Mr. Kita said it was illegal to arrest them before South Africa made a formal extradition request.
Meanwhile, a magistrate in South Africa ordered the seizure of a home of millionaire Malawian preacher Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary after they skipped bail.
The home, which is near the capital Pretoria, is valued at 5.5m South African rand ($350,000), according to local media.
The magistrate had ordered them to hand over the title deed of the property when they were granted bail on charges of money laundering and fraud.
The couple denies the charges. It emerged last week that they had fled to their home country of Malawi. The pastor said they had made a “tactical withdrawal” because they feared for their lives.
South Africa has demanded the couple’s extradition after they skipped bail.