Home South African Joshlin Smith case postponed, accused to remain behind bars

Joshlin Smith case postponed, accused to remain behind bars

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The four people alleged to be responsible for the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith are expected to remain behind bars for another two months.

Joshlin Smith has been missing since February 19. Picture: Supplied

THE FOUR people alleged to be responsible for the disappearance of Joshlin Smith from Saldanha Bay are expected to remain behind bars for another two months.

On Monday, Joshlin’s mother, Kelly Smith, her boyfriend, Jacquen ‘Boeta’ Appolis, Stevano van Rhyn and Lourentia Lombaard appeared in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court.

The group faces charges of kidnapping and trafficking in persons for the purpose of exploitation.

Making their way into the dock, the group looked fresh and were wearing clean clothing. Kelly Smith was also sporting a blow-out and was full of smiles.

While her co-accused stood with a sombre look on their faces, she seemed quite upbeat as she looked around to the gallery and even exchanged smiles.

The State told the court its investigation remains ongoing and all information being received by the police regarding Joshlin is being followed-up.

“I can further confirm forensic reports have been received, as well as cellphone downloads. We are in the process of analysing the data. The State requests a further postponement for further investigation,” the prosecutor submitted.

The magistrate postponed the matter and made it known to the group that at their next appearance they will also know in which forum (if the matter would go to a higher court or not) the case would be heard.

In attendance at the court on Monday was the Western Cape MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, who reiterated that all information being received pertaining to the matter was being followed-up by police.

He also stated that information shared on social media by a politician last week was “deeply inaccurate”.

This, after the leader of the Patriotic Alliance (PA), Gayton Mckenzie, claimed on his Facebook page that another arrest had been made in the case.

“We are wanting to again send a very strong message that the South African Police Service (SAPS) should be the one, together with the State and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), to release any such information.

“I can confirm it was fake news being spread by the politicians in the interest of potentially wanting to remain relevant in this particular case,” Allen said.

He condemned sharing information on social media that has not been verified, as it has a painful effect on not only Joshlin’s family, but her community too.

The suspects are due back in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on July 15.

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