Officials: Owner was on bus
Lunga Biyela, News24
Cape Town – The owner of the bus that crashed on the N1 between De Doorns and Touwsrivier on Wednesday is alleged to have been on board the bus when it crashed, said a traffic official.
"The owner is not in the Eastern Cape," Arrive Alive spokesperson Tshepo Machaea told News24 on Thursday.
Machaea said it was reported that the owner had been driving the bus when it left Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape, and changed with a driver who had just driven another bus from Cape Town.
"At the moment, we are unsure if the owner is one of the deceased passengers, or one of those taken to hospital," said Machaea. "We have sent officials, along with those who know him to the mortuary to see if he can be identified. They will also be going to the hospitals."
Madodomzi Gontsana, secretary for the Ngcobo Long Distance Bus Association told News24 they had been informed that the owner was on board the bus when it left.
Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said they were not aware that the owner was on the bus the time of the accident.
The crash killed 23 people, and 15 were taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The driver faces charges of culpable homicide.
Van Wyk confirmed that the driver of the bus has appeared in the Touwsrivier Magistrate's court on Thursday.