Bus driver's sentencing postponed

By Drum Digital
30 January 2013

The sentencing of a bus driver convicted of causing the deaths of 23 people was postponed until February 27 by the Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday.

Legal Aid lawyer Wimpie Strauss agreed to represent Siza Nonama, 41, after his previous lawyer Thabo Nogemane withdrew because he no longer had a Fidelity Fund certificate.

Every attorney in the country must obtain this certificate every year to be able to practice law.

Strauss assured the court he would be ready by the postponement date, and said he would gather information on the case from Nogemane.

Nonama admitted to 23 counts of culpable homicide under a plea agreement 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 speeding down the Hex River pass and not slowing down in the rain. He lost control of the bus, it veered off the road and overturned.

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

Five months before the crash, the bus had failed a roadworthy test for having defective brakes, a cracked front windscreen and oil and diesel leaks. It belonged to Nonama's brother Malinga.

Both were initially charged with murder. Charges were later withdrawn against Malinga.

-by Sapa

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