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Homicidal bus driver bunks court

A bus driver responsible for a crash near De Doorns leaving 23 dead failed to appear in court on Monday.

Sisa Nonoma was convicted on 23 counts of culpable homicide. He is responsible for a bus crash near De Doorns two years ago.

CAPE TOWN - An Eastern Cape bus driver, who was convicted on 23 counts of culpable homicide in October, must appear in court next week, or face arrest.

Sisa Nonoma failed to appear in the Cape Town Regional Court on Monday, apparently because he was sick.

He was the driver of a bus that crashed on the N1 near De Doorns two years ago, leaving 23 people dead.

Nonoma's lawyer Thabo Nogemane said sentencing proceedings will take place on 13 December.

"If the accused doesn't appear before the court, a warrant has to be issued. We have asked that the warrant be held over until he is present on Thursday. Hopefully his position would have gotten better by then."

In October the state agreed to withdraw some of the charges against the bus driver.

There were 84 counts altogether, 33 for murder and many attempted murder charges.

Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said he hoped Nonoma will spend 15 to 20 years behind bars.

"By his own admission, he was driving too fast, he was tired because he'd been driving for too long and he drove irresponsibly."

The bus was travelling to Cape Town when it crashed.

There were 78 passengers on board, but the bus was only certified to carry 64.

Meanwhile, Carlisle said he will not hesitate to impose restrictions on taxi associations who are involved in violence.

Carlisle lifted vehicle and licensing restrictions on three Northern Suburbs taxi associations on Monday.

Earlier this year the associations were involved in a spate of violence in which three people were killed.

The transport MEC said taxi violence in the Western Cape doesn't disappear overnight.

"It leaves its memories behind and sometimes those memories spark fresh taxi violence.

But, over the last two years those organisations have shown huge maturity."

He said five people have lost their lives due to taxi violence in the few years.

"This is a huge reduction on the past. My message to them is I want them to prosper and grown rich and I want them to die in their beds and not on the roads."

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