Court Should Consider Bus Driver's Frailty

LazyLion

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The driver of the bus that crashed and killed 23 people in 2010 was very ill and would 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 courts 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. Magistrate Bruce Langa was expected to hand down the sentence at 2pm.


Source : Sapa /je/fg/dd/th
Date : 26 Mar 2013 14:41
 

F1 Fan

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Aids? He's going to die soon anyway, might as well let him go. Why waste tax payers money putting him in prison
 

daveza

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Sad story but 23 people are dead.

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 didn't think about the vehicle being unroadworthy.

He also didn't think about the vehicle being overloaded

And finally he didn't think about the fact that he had no drivers licence.
 

LazyLion

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Six Years for Western Cape Bus Driver

A man will spend six years in jail for the deaths of 23 people in a bus crash he caused, the Cape Town Magistrate's Court ruled on Tuesday.

Magistrate Bruce Langa sentenced Sisa Nonama, 41, to nine years' imprisonment, three of which would be suspended for five years.

This suspension was on condition that he not be convicted of culpable homicide involving a motor vehicle during that period.

The 23 counts of culpable homicide were counted as one for the purposes of sentencing as they flowed from one incident.

Nonama was driving a bus from Leeu-Gamka to Cape Town in the early hours of the morning in May 2010 when he lost control of the vehicle on the Hex River Pass.

It was later revealed that Nonama was driving 20km over the speed limit, that he did not have the correct licence for driving the bus, and that the vehicle was not roadworthy.

The court also fined him R500 (or one year in jail) for not having the right licence, and R1000 (or six months in jail) for the unroadworthiness of the vehicle. The sentences would run concurrently with the main sentence.

Langa said the aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors and that "the imposition of a prison term was an inescapable conclusion".

Nonama's defence had been hoping for a fully-suspended jail term or correctional supervision.

"My view is that he should have foreseen the consequences of his actions given the dreadful conditions that prevailed on that road," Langa said.

He found the degree of negligence in this instance was serious rather than trivial.

"That people lost their lives and limbs makes it more serious."


Source : Sapa /je/hdw/clh/dd
Date : 26 Mar 2013 16:29
 

LazyLion

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Flabbergasted! :eek:

23 people dead.... and he only gets six years.
 

daveza

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Humphreys got 8 for 10 deaths so this guy should have got around 18 years.
 

KhoisanX

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The court also fined him R500 (or one year in jail) for not having the right licence, and R1000 (or six months in jail) for the unroadworthiness of the vehicle. The sentences would run concurrently with the main sentence.

Wow, those fines are practically nothing, especially when you consider that 23 people died.
 
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