South Africa: Pretoria Bank Bomb Threat - Ex-Scorpion Investigator to Undergo Psychiatric Evaluation

26 September 2019

A former Scorpions investigator accused of attempting to rob a bank at Menlyn Maine shopping centre in Pretoria is expected to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after it emerged that he had a history of psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fifty-year-old Ekhardt Albertus Mostert, known as Mossie Mostert, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Thursday after a district surgeon examined him.

According to the district surgeon's report, which News24 has seen, Mostert was able to understand the gravity of the offences that he allegedly committed.

The report also indicated that he would be able to follow the court case, that he understood the implications of a possible conviction and could describe the circumstances of the alleged crime and recall relevant facts.

The district surgeon further noted that he did not suffer from any delusions, amnesia or hallucinations.

However, it was revealed that Mostert suffers from psychosis, depression and PTSD.

The report also indicated that a psychologist and psychiatrist treated him for these.

The district surgeon added that Mostert said he didn't think he had a future, that he had suicidal thoughts and displayed symptoms of depression.

"The accused person has insight and will be able to follow a court case but there is a history of psychosis, PTSD and suicidal thoughts. So it's recommended that he undergo psychiatric evaluation," the district surgeon stated.

Prosecutor Kagisho Rancho asked the court to send the accused for evaluation as per the district surgeon's recommendation.

The court acceded to the request and postponed the matter to November 27.

Mostert will be sent to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital once a bed becomes available.

During his first court appearance, Mostert told the court he wanted to defend himself and then, without being asked to, he said that he wanted to plead guilty.

Mostert, who is a former investigator of the defunct Scorpions, was told that the charges against him were serious and that if he was convicted, he could face life imprisonment.

Mostert said he understood this, but he would still defend himself.

He maintained that he wanted to plead guilty.

Rancho told the court that a guilty plea could not be entered into on Thursday because the accused faced a terrorism charge, which meant that the deputy public prosecutor would have to issue a certificate first.

Rancho added that they also had to consider whether the regional court or high court should deal with the plea.

According to the charge sheet, Mostert faces charges of attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances, terrorism and the contravention of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act.

Mostert was arrested at Menlyn Maine shopping centre last Tuesday after he allegedly tried to rob an Absa bank.

According to the police, he was believed to have entered the bank at around 11:15 and walked straight to a bank teller, handing over a note.

He had disguised himself by wearing a wig and entered the bank with a device in his possession, which he later claimed was a bomb.

In the note, according to police, he demanded a sum of money and told the teller he had a bomb.

The teller hit the silent alarm and Mostert was arrested shortly afterwards.

The police's bomb squad and K9 unit were called to the scene to inspect the device.

Sniffer dogs initially reacted positively to the device. However, the bomb disposal unit found that it was not a bomb but that the man had sprinkled gunpowder on the device to make it appear authentic.

Source: News24

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