WCape bus crash case postponed

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Independent Newspapers

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Cape Town - Sentencing proceedings in the case of a Western Cape bus driver convicted of killing 23 people were postponed by the Cape Town Regional Court on Monday.

The court heard that the driver, Siza Nonama, could not appear as he was ill. His lawyer Thabo Nogemane presented a medical certificate.

Magistrate Bruce Langa accepted the certificate from the Crossroads clinic and postponed the matter until next Thursday.

“A warrant of arrest has been authorised, but will be held over until December 13, on condition that the accused will present himself,” Langa said.

Nonama would be arrested and his bail of R10 000 would be forfeited if he did not appear on that day.

Under a plea agreement, he admitted 23 counts of culpable homicide in October.

He was driving a bus from Leeu-Gamka to Cape Town on May 5, 2010, when it crashed near De Doorns in the early hours of the morning.

Three children were among the dead. Fifteen people were seriously injured.

Nonama admitted that he sped down the Hex River pass and did not slow down in the rain. He lost control of the bus, it veered off the road and overturned.

He did not have the required driving licence and the vehicle was overloaded, with 78 people on board instead of the 64 it was certified to carry.

The bus had failed a roadworthiness test five months before the crash, for having defective brakes, a cracked front windscreen and oil and diesel leaks.

The vehicle belonged to Nonama's brother Malinga.

Both were initially charged with murder. Charges have been provisionally withdrawn against Malinga.

Sapa


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