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'Taxi gang' ferrying matric ball learners racked up thousands in fines

26 November 2018 - 17:15 By ARON HYMAN and Natalie Elliott
Alleged taxi gang boss Rudi Lakay's taxis have landed him in hot water with traffic authorities. He and 13 employees are also charged with racketeering and drug dealing.
Alleged taxi gang boss Rudi Lakay's taxis have landed him in hot water with traffic authorities. He and 13 employees are also charged with racketeering and drug dealing.
Image: R. Lakay Passenger Service Trading

An alleged "taxi gang" implicated in racketeering - which offers a service ferrying  learners to matric balls - also racked up numerous traffic violations.

Rudi Lakay, owner of R Lakay Passenger Services Trading, and 13 employees appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of racketeering and drug dealing.

It has since emerged that Lakay and his deputy, Ike Collins, allegedly paid "large amounts of money" to settle traffic fines incurred over the course of the taxi service’s five-year history.

The fines related to not stopping at stop streets and traffic lights, reckless driving and speeding.

Lakay’s lawyer, Bruce Hendricks, said that the fines were incurred by Lakay’s drivers for vehicles registered under his name, including a taxi with a personalised number plate with the words "Lakay 02 WP" which appears in a picture gallery on the company’s website.

Brendale Abrahams, lawyer for seven of the 14 suspects, said they intended bringing an urgent application before the Cape Town High Court to get an earlier date for a formal bail application.

Their case was postponed to early February 2019 but Hendricks said that the lengthy stay in prison until then would undermine their constitutional rights.

"We are not happy with the date being so far in the new year. Our clients have requested that we approach the high court for an earlier date for bail application," said Abrahams.

TimesLIVE reported last week that 11 alleged gang members appeared in Blue Downs Magistrate's Court after raids on six suspected "drug dens" in Kuilsriver.

The men faced more than 100 charges under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

A substantial amount of cash, two hard drives and six cellphones were seized during the raids, said police spokesperson Capt FC van Wyk.

Llewelyn Bostander, Mark de Wee and Shamier Khan joined Lakay, Collins, Johnathan Hermanus, Christiaan Green, Dwaine Rhode, Quintus Booysen, Alneiro Isaks, Mario de Wee, Eben George, Dylon Lakay and Liaan Erasmus in court on Monday, bringing the total number of suspects to 14.

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