Home South African Accused’s family asks for the truth in Joshlin Smith case

Accused’s family asks for the truth in Joshlin Smith case

308

Lourentia Lombaard, who reportedly confessed to the charges relating to the disappearance of Joshlin Smith, has decided to abandon the right to apply for bail.

Lourentia Lombaard reportedly confessed to the police that she was involved with Joshlin Smith’s disappearance. Picture: Patrick Louw

CAPE TOWN – Lourentia Lombaard, who reportedly confessed to the charges relating to the disappearance of Joshlin Smith, has decided to abandon the right to apply for bail.

Appearing in front of magistrate Yolisa Sipoyo in Vredenburg on Monday, the 31-year-old Saldanha Bay woman confirmed she would not go ahead with her bail application.

She is the fourth person to be charged with human trafficking in persons for the purpose of exploitation and kidnapping.

Six-year-old Joshlin was reported missing on February 20 – the day after she disappeared.

Her mom Racquel “Kelly” Smith, 33, said she left her eldest daughter at home with her boyfriend Jacquen Appollis, as she was ill that morning.

When she returned from work she found her child was not at home and went out to look for her at around 7pm, she said.

She then went to the Saldanha Bay police station the following day to file a missing person’s report.

On March 5, after the couple and their friend Steveno van Rhyn were questioned, they were all arrested for Joshlin’s disappearance.

Lombaard, who is friends with Kelly and Appollis, was arrested 10 days later.

Prosecutor Jacques van Zyl said Lombaard had confessed, but didn’t give details.

The accused are all expected to appear in court again on May 13. Police investigations are continuing.

On Monday, it was expected that Lombaard would apply for bail but her Legal Aid representative Asongezwa Mafuya said she would abandon her bail bid.

Magistrate Sipoyo asked the accused to confirm if she indeed didn’t want bail.

“Ms Lombaard, is it correct that you told your legal representative that you are abandoning your right to apply for bail at this stage?”

The accused answered: “Ja.” The case was then postponed.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said more charges could be added and more arrests effected based on the evidence.

He would not say how Lombaard was linked to the case.

“That will come out in court, it would be wrong for me to divulge how she is linked to the case … The details of what happened and the merits will come out at a later stage, and the earliest will be if one of them applies for bail.”

A family member of Lombaard said that at first they didn’t know that she was implicated in the matter.

“We first saw this on social media and we were not sure they were talking about my cousin. But then the boyfriend’s name was mentioned and I asked my mom if it wasn’t her, and then we confirmed (it).

“My mom is very hurt about this, the family is praying for her. She must just tell the truth.

“We are not close with her. She came to us to ask for money for drugs, she said she owed her drug dealer (money) … And that was the last time we saw her.”

Previous articleMandy Wiener and John Robbie put Africa in the spotlight with their new documentaries
Next articleApril fuel price outlook: Petrol going up but good news for diesel