Home South African Thousands sign petition to deny bail to suspects in Joshlin Smith case

Thousands sign petition to deny bail to suspects in Joshlin Smith case

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Thousands of people are calling on the court to deny bail to the suspects in the Joshlin Smith trafficking case.

Hundreds of people turned up outside the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court baying for the blood of those involved in the disappearance of Joshlin Smith. Picture: Kim Kay, Independent Newspapers

THOUSANDS of people are calling on the court to deny bail to the suspects in the Joshlin Smith trafficking case.

At the time of publication on Monday, a Change.org petition calling for no bail in the case had garnered around 15,408 signatures, with the next goal of the petition being 25,000.

The petition reads: “Joshlin Smith, a child whose life was abruptly interrupted by the horrific acts of kidnapping and human trafficking, has become a symbol for all missing children in South Africa.

“Her story is not just her own; it represents the countless children who have been victims of such heinous crimes, illuminating the dark realities of child exploitation, drug abuse, poverty and lack of sufficient resources. It also highlights the urgent need for more effective law enforcement training in search operations.”

On March 7, the four people who were arrested in connection with the disappearance of Joshlin appeared in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court.

The suspects included her mother Kelly Smith and boyfriend Jacquen Appollis, Steveno van Rhyn and sangoma Phumza Sigaqa.

The four face charges of trafficking in persons and kidnapping. They have officially been charged and all four have applied for legal aid.

Last week, a source revealed to IOL that a suspect had been arrested after a confession. The suspect is understood to have told police that Joshlin was sold to the sangoma for around R20,000.

The matter has been postponed to March 13 for bail information.

Joshlin was last seen on February 19.

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