Police at the weekend launched a manhunt for trial-awaiting former magistrate Walter ‘Rooies’ Mostert who escaped from custody on Friday afternoon following a court appearance. The 62-year-old reportedly vanished after having been dropped off at the Auas Hills hospital in Auasblick on Friday. Mostert was being kept at the hospital, where he has been receiving medical attention, under police guard.
The suspect has been in custody awaiting trial for fraud for allegedly assisting a South African family to obtain Namibian citizenship, in exchange for money.
Khomas police commander Ismael Basson explained the suspect was dropped off at the hospital on Friday at around 16h00 by a police inspector, who had earlier picked him up from court. “In the process, I think the police officer who picked up the suspect failed to communicate to the officer at the hospital.
He allegedly dropped off the suspect to go to his room at the hospital and left. When the other officer was alerted that the suspect was dropped off at the hospital, he rushed there but did not find him,” he said. By yesterday afternoon, police were still searching for
Mostert, especially at the borders to ensure he does not skip the country. “We visited his residence, searched everywhere at the hospital and asked the people around, including the hospital staff, but nobody has seen him.
Therefore, the search will continue until the suspect is arrested,” he vowed. Police insiders, however, told New Era Mostert was only seen at the hospital at around 10h00 and never seen again for the rest of the day.
“Even his lunch, which he received for that day, was found in his room but never touched. This means he did not return to the room since he left in the morning,” shared the source.
The source further indicated the police officer who is based at the hospital ended up reporting for duty at the station because the suspect had a court appearance. This allegedly led to the misunderstanding, paving way for the suspect to escape. Mostert was arrested earlier this year in Keetmanshoop. He is facing 29 charges, including counts under the Anti-Corruption Act and the Immigration Control Act, and counts of money laundering, extortion, fraud, and attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
The charges are connected to the allegations that in 2021 and 2013, he helped South African citizens to illegally obtain Namibian identity documents by falsely informing the home affairs ministry that they were born in Usakos.