Death bus owner in custody

THE owner and driver of the unroadworthy bus that killed 28 people in Western Cape have been arrested.

The owner, who was feared dead on Wednesday after the accident, survived and was treated in a local hospital and discharged. He turned himself in to the De Doorns police yesterday.

Eastern Cape Arrive Alive spokesperson Tshepo Matshaya confirmed that the owner of Nondoda Tours was behind bars.

"It has been confirmed that the owner, M Nomana, was in the bus. He told officials that he was taken to hospital after the accident. He is at the De Doorns police station as we speak."

The owner's brother, who was driving the bus, Siza Nomana, appeared briefly in the Touws River periodical court yesterday. He was remanded in custody until his next appearance on Wednesday.

Nomana allegedly lost control of the overloaded 55-seatter bus on the Hex River Pass from Touws River to De Doorns on Wednesday.

There were 77 passengers on board. The bus was travelling from Engcobo in Eastern Cape to Cape Town.

Twenty-eight people, including four children, died. Three people were discovered nine hours later when investigators lifted the bus, which had overturned, provincial traffic spokesperson Xenophone Wentzel said.

Another 10 passengers were critically injured after the bus crashed into a steel barrier and rolled down a steep embarkment.

Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said the case was postponed for further investigation.

eNatis records have confirmed that the bus was given a notice to discontinue operations. Matshaya confirmed the bus was taken off the road on October 29.