Driver's frailty should be considered - lawyer

2013-03-26 16:56
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Cape Town - The driver of the bus that crashed and killed 23 people in 2010 is very ill and will never be able to drive a bus again, the Cape Town Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.

The lawyer for Sisa Nonama, 41, said during sentencing arguments that the court should take into account personal circumstances, the interest of the community, and the crime committed.

Wimpie Strauss said his client's health and his inability to work were a factor.

"The accused is a very sick person. He's deteriorated from the person standing in court the first time up till now.

"He was a stocky, well-built, healthy person."

The court previously heard Nonama had HIV/Aids, TB, and kidney disease. He was driving a bus from Leeu-Gamka to Cape Town in May 2010 when he lost control down the Hex River Pass in the early hours of the morning.

"It was dark, the early hours of the morning, it was raining, the road was wet and under these conditions, he lost control," Strauss said.

Nonama had been 20km/h over the speed limit and ignored signs for heavy vehicles to move to a lower gear, because he did not think buses fell into that category.

He had pleaded guilty, acknowledged responsibility, and thus saved the court's time.

Strauss asked that the court give a fully suspended term of imprisonment. Alternatively, he should be given correctional supervision.

Willem Tarantaal, for the State, disagreed and said he should be given a minimum of 10 years in jail if the counts were taken as one for sentencing purposes.

"Going down the Hex River Pass at an excessive speed was a conscious risk," the prosecutor said.

He said the consequences of Nonama's actions, that many people were killed and injured, should be taken into account.

Read more on:    cape town  |  accidents

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