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Two brothers arrested in connection with the De Doorns bus crash two years ago, in which 23 people were killed, are asking the State for a plea bargain.
Sisa Nomama, 41, and his brother Malinga, 43, both from the Eastern Cape, appeared in Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday.
The State says the brothers were responsible for the deaths of 23 people when the overcrowded bus Sisa Nomama was driving veered off the road on the Hex River Pass on May 5, 2010.
The bus was certified to carry 64 passengers but 76 people were on board, according to the charge sheet.
It says roadworthy tests on the bus on October, 2009 and December 1, 2009 detected a range of problems, including defective brakes and oil and diesel leaks.
On the day of the crash, another test was done and authorities found the bus was still not roadworthy.
The brothers face 23 charges of murder, 53 charges of attempted murder and seven charges relating to contravening the National Road Traffic Act.
They were expected to enter into a plea and sentence agreement on Wednesday but the court heard that negotiations had not been finalised.
Magistrate Jan van Zyl said a final postponement had been granted last month for the plea agreement.
State advocate Willem Tarentaal agreed, saying defence lawyer Thabo Nogemane had contacted him only on Wednesday.
“My clients are based in the Eastern Cape and I had difficulty getting them to Cape Town. At this stage it remains a possible plea but I will endeavour to finalise the case,” Nogemane said.
The case had been moved to Cape Town because most of the State witnesses live in the city.
Van Zyl said if the plea agreement was not ready by the next scheduled date, the matter would have to be postponed for trial.
The brothers are due back in court on August 3.