A taxi driver, convicted of setting a train carriage alight, has revealed that the taxi industry benefits whenever trains are put out of service.
Ricardo Khan, who worked at the Eerste River taxi rank, was sentenced to 20 years in prison this week by the Blue Downs Magistrates’ Court. Damage of R3.5-million was inflicted on the Eerste River train station on 20 March 2020, with a projected impact of R9-million on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila told Daily Maverick that it was clear the taxi industry benefited from damage to trains:
"The accused testified that he gets paid more if more taxis are in operation and business is good."
After the 20 March 2020 fire at the Eerste River train station, law enforcement officers, Prasa officials and a police team attached to the provincial command in Cape Town probed the crime scene, but were spared a protracted investigation when a commuter approached them and pointed out the suspect.
According to Ntabazalila, a Prasa official had filmed the incident, which on closer inspection confirmed the suspect’s involvement. Khan was arrested and denied bail.
The trial began in December 2021. Khan…
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