Judgement in Mostert bail application set for Tuesday

07 Apr 2016 18:20pm
OTJIWARONGO, 07 APR (NAMPA) - Otjiwarongo Magistrate Helvi Shilemba will next Tuesday rule on the bail application of Johannes Mostert who is accused of possession of assault weapons without licences.
The 53-year-old Mostert’s bail hearing commenced in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court on 29 to 30 March 2016 and continued from Monday until Thursday.
Mostert faces charges of possession of illegal firearms; possession of ammunition without a licence; possession of hand grenades without a permit; and contravention of the explosive Act of Namibia.
These weapons were discovered by the police on his farm Swartmodder, situated approximately 135 kilometres south of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
He also faces a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH), which was laid by his 53-year-old ex-wife.
A charge against him on contravening the Prevention of Combating of Terrorism and Proliferation Activity Act has since been removed from the charge sheet on 29 March 2016, as it is apparently difficult to prove in court.
Some of the recovered military equipment at his farm include 15 guns (AK47, R1, R5); hand grenades and hunting rifles; military gear thought to have belonged to the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF), South West African Police Force (SWAPF); and Swapo Plan combatant uniforms, among others.
Mostert was arrested on 04 February 2016 after he handed himself over to the Otjiwarongo Police Station.
He is being represented in court by the Windhoek-based lawyer, Willem Hendrik Visser, who told the court that of the 15 guns found in possession of Mostert, seven were inherited with Farm Swartmodder from his father who died in 2002.
The lawyer said those seven guns have been licensed on Mostert’s father’s name and the accused was in the process of transferring it to his name.
Visser added that the guns were once handed over to the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) at the Otjiwarongo Police Station for safe keeping after Mostert’s father had died.
He said the police then released it into Mostert’s custody when they started some renovations on the police storeroom at Otjiwarongo, and never demanded it back.
Visser said four other guns were licensed under Mostert’s name, which the police also admitted in court.
The lawyer indicated that his client intends to plead guilty to the illegal possession of four hunting rifles and ammunition, which he said belongs to a friend of his from Angola, who left it at his farm after game hunting there.
On the hand grenades and explosives, Mostert said he had no dangerous hand grenades or explosives, and only knows of smoke grenades in his possession.
He, however, stated that he will plead guilty to possession of those materials during trial.
On the charge of assault, Mostert and his two witnesses both said the complainant was the one who abused him by constantly attacking him with her hands and objects.
One of those witnesses was the 26-year-old biological son of the complainant, who is Mostert’s stepson.
Visser told the court that even if his client is to be found guilty, he will have an option to pay a fine. “Therefore, my client has no reason to escape this country to any foreign country over this case.”
He then asked the court to grant Mostert bail and attach strict conditions to it, which he is sure his client will abide to.
Visser said his client can afford to post bail of less than N.dollars 100 000.
Control Public Prosecutor, Lewis Chigunwe who represented the State in the matter, opposed bail, indicating that Mostert has ties in Angola, South Africa and Bostwana, where he transports livestock to, and might escape the country forever in order not to stand trial.
Chigunwe also fears that Mostert might interfere with police investigations as well as to carry out the alleged threats he made of killing the complainant.
Mostert was born in Windhoek and worked as a police officer in the SWATF since 1983 until 1991 when he resigned.
(NAMPA)
MS/ND/LI