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Bus driver ‘too ill’ to appear in court

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de doorns crash

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Sisa Nonama (41), the driver of the bus in which more than 20 passengers died, hides his face from photographers at an earlier court appearance. File picture: Jeffrey Abrahams

Cape Town - Sentencing procedures in the case against the bus driver responsible for the De Doorns crash that left 23 people dead more than two years ago have been delayed because he is ill.

According to a medical certificate handed to the Cape Town Regional Court on Monday, Sisa Nonama has tuberculosis.

His lawyer, Thabo Nogemane, said Nonama was not at court because he was sick. He would be fit to attend court on December 13.

Sentencing proceedings were expected to start on Monday, but could not go ahead without Nonama.

Willem Tarentaal, for the State, asked that a warrant be authorised but held over until Nonama’s next scheduled court appearance.

Nonama has pleaded guilty to 23 counts of culpable homicide and two of contravening the National Road Traffic Act.

He acknowledged that 76 people were crammed into the bus when it veered off the Hex River Valley Pass on May 5, 2010.

The bus was certified to carry 64 passengers. In his plea, Nonama said he negligently caused the deaths of 23 people who were travelling from Leeugamka to Cape Town.

“I declare that I was the driver of the bus and my brother, Malinga, was the registered owner of the bus. He was also on board the bus. At around 4.40am, I was nearing the Hex River Pass, we were descending and I failed to reduce speed… I drove at an excessive speed. It was raining and the road was wet. I was unable to control the bus and it veered off the road.”

Nonama

also admitted that he drove the bus without a driver’s licence, and without a roadworthy certificate being displayed.

Magistrate Bruce Langa authorised the warrant for Nonama’s arrest but held it over until December 13, adding that if he again failed to appear his R10 000 bail would be forfeited.

jade.otto@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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