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Suspects who escaped from prison back behind bars for more alleged crimes

Xolisa Miller is back behind bars. FILE

Xolisa Miller is back behind bars. FILE

Published May 7, 2022


Cape Town - Two suspects who escaped from prison are back behind bars after being on the run for years.

Xolisa Miller made an appearance at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court yesterday where he faced escape charges.

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Miller is believed to have escaped from Pollsmoor Prison in 20201 when he was released on bail under the pretence that it had been granted. But Miller’s bail had been denied.

Miller was imprisoned after he was arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Unathi Sabsana, 28.

Sabsana was shot and killed inside her New Crossroads home in November 2017 allegedly in front of her 10-year-old son.

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An investigation is now under way on how Miller had been allowed to apply for bail while being imprisoned at Pollsmoor Prison.

Miller was arrested on April 29 in Sea Point on housebreaking charges.

He made an appearance at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for the housebreaking charges and his case was postponed to May 17 to answer on a warrant which had been issued for his arrest following his escape.

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It is believed Miller used various false names before he was finally arrested.

On Friday, Miller was brought before Magistrate Goolam Bawa at the Wynberg Court where he heard he would be back in court on June 9 for the charge relating to an escape.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi confirmed his arrest.

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The Department of Correctional Services told Weekend Argus that Miller had been released in error and granted R1000 bail in December 2021 and later a warrant was issued for his arrest: “The Department was later informed that the release of the remand detainee was in fact, erroneous.

“The Department of Correctional Service’s emergency support team was immediately activated to assist the South African Police Service to apprehend the individual.”

Another suspect, Thembalethu Mpalweni, of Nyanga, made an appearance with three other accused, facing a charge of the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Mpalweni was arrested on Tuesday after he and his co-accused were stopped by police who allegedly found a 9mm and ammunition in their possession.

Mpalweni was wanted by police after he escaped from Pollsmoor Prison in July 2018.

He had been waiting for charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

A crime intelligence team had been tasked to find him.

Mpalweni is expected to be back in court on May 11 where his lawyer will argue that he and his three co-accused were detained longer than the 48-hour period before making an appearance in court.

Magistrate Bawa called for the matter to be postponed for arguments.

Siya Monakali of Ilitha Labantu, an organisation which advocates for women and children’s rights and has been following Sabsana’s case, said: “We are calling on the harshest sentence to be imposed on Xolisa Miller for the brutal murder of Unathi Sabsana.”

Weekend Argus

Related Topics:

Crime and courts