The State was unable to accept the guilty plea of the man accused of attempting to rob a bank at the Menlyn Maine shopping centre in Pretoria on Tuesday because he faces a terrorism charge.
Ekhardt Albertus Mostert, also known as Mossie Mostert, made his first appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning.
Mostert, 50, told the court he would be representing himself and that he wanted to plead guilty to the charges.
But prosecutor Kagisho Rancho told the court that a guilty plea could not be entered on Thursday because the accused faces a terrorism charge, which means that the deputy public prosecutor would have to issue a certificate first.
Rancho added that they also had to consider whether the plea should be dealt with the regional or high court.
The matter was postponed so that the State can obtain Mostert’s criminal profile.
According to the charge sheet, Mostert faces charges of attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances, terrorism and contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorism and Related Activities Act.
Mostert, who is a former investigator of the now-defunct Scorpions, was arrested at the Menlyn Maine shopping centre after he allegedly tried to rob an Absa bank.
According to the police, he was believed to have entered an Absa bank at around 11.15am 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.
Police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach said the note stated that he had a bomb and that he wanted an undisclosed amount of money. The bank teller then pressed the silent alarm.
“Security immediately reacted and evacuated the whole shopping centre. The police responded and arrested the man inside the bank. A firearm was confiscated,” Weilbach said.
The police’s bomb squad and K9 units were called to the scene to inspect the device.
Sniffer dogs initially reacted positively to the device, but 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.
The charge sheet alleges that the device was a plastic box which had a flickering light.
News24 previously revealed that two sources, former colleagues of Mostert, said he had allegedly been suffering financially.
Since leaving the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) and the police, Mostert worked as a private investigator at a company called Mostert Security Solutions.
The matter was postponed to September 26.