Fraud accused former judicial officer Walter ‘Rooies’ Mostert is adamant his arrest and continued detention are unlawful.
Mostert made his first court appearance in the Windhoek Regional Court for his fraud case yesterday after he was re-arrested on 24 March while trying to enter Namibia from South Africa via the Noordoewer border post.
During his appearance before magistrate Victor Nyazo, Mostert once more argued that his first arrest in May 2021 was illegal as his warrant of arrest was not signed by a magistrate as required by law.
Thus, anything that the authorities carried out after that is illegal and of no effect. The police were ordered by Windhoek Magistrate’s Court to release Mostert on Tuesday after the State admitted that the warrant of arrest was not signed by a magistrate. Magistrate Ivan Gawanab then struck the matter off the roll in which Mostert was appearing on charges of escaping from lawful custody.
However, hours later, Mostert was once more arrested and remanded in custody. His case was then postponed to 22 April.
The police indicated that there were two warrants of arrest against Mostert.
Yesterday, Mostert argued that his release voucher from custody was at 11h59 and the second warrant of arrest was executed at 11h58.
“If they knew that there were two warrants of arrest, why did they not present them in court? I was arrested while in custody. How awful is that? They do as they please,” said Mostert.
He said the State failed to inform the court that he was unlawfully in custody. According to him, officers of the law have a duty to be truthful.
“If I was in custody unlawfully, how can I escape from lawful custody then? They need to clarify and prove that,” said Mostert.
Magistrate Nyazo, however, informed Mostert the court would not conduct an inquiry on why he failed to appear in court for his trial on 17 November 2021 as the matter is already being dealt with by the lower court.
“On the question of whether on this occasion you are lawfully appearing before me? The court is satisfied that there was a lawful warrant of arrest issued against you on 17 November 2021, after you had defied a court order of 3 November 2021,” explained Nyazo.
Nyazo then postponed the matter to 11 April for Mostert to engage his legal practitioner as his trial is expected to start on 3 June.
In this matter, Mostert, alongside co-accused Joyline Kambatuku, Eveline Meroro, and Joram Salomo will be tried on charges under the Anti-Corruption Act and the Immigration Control Act, money laundering, extortion, fraud, and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
The State is alleging that the charges emanate from a period between 2012 and 2013 when Mostert worked in cahoots with his co-accused by assisting a South African family to obtain Namibian identity documents illegally. He allegedly furnished the ministry of home affairs with false documents that members of that family and their parents had been born at Usakos.
In 2013, Mostert extorted N$90 000 from one Kosie Pieterse when he informed him that his family member was arrested for overstaying in Namibia after the visa had expired, alleges the prosecution.
The prosecution is further alleging that Mostert fraudulently obtained another N$250 000 from Pieterse. He allegedly told Pieterse that the money would help with his application to acquire Namibian permanent residence.
Mostert is currently being held at Windhoek Correctional Facility at the trial awaiting section.