Home South African WRAP: Everything you need to know about the Joshlin Smith case so...

WRAP: Everything you need to know about the Joshlin Smith case so far

744

The case of missing six-year-old Joshlin Smith has gripped the nation with new developments happening each day.

Joshlin Smith was last seen on February 19. Picture: Supplied, SAPS

THE CASE of missing six-year-old Joshlin Smith has gripped the nation with new developments happening each day.

Joshlin is a first-grade pupil at Diazville Primary School in Saldanha Bay and was last seen on February 19.

She was last seen wearing a light blue T-shirt and light blue denim shorts. She also has a birthmark located on her left arm.

MARCH 4

A day after National Minister of Police Bheki Cele’s visit to reassure residents, police reported a potentially crucial discovery.

Pieces of clothing, believed to be stained with blood, were found in an open field during late night searches.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm Pojie confirmed this development.

Despite challenges, authorities are intensifying their efforts, bolstered by additional resources from the South African Navy and local firefighters, as they continue their relentless pursuit of answers.

MARCH 5

In a startling turn of events, authorities make a breakthrough in the missing child’s case.

A suspect has been apprehended, suspected of orchestrating the child’s disappearance and allegedly selling her for a sum of approximately R20,000.

The arrest comes amid ongoing investigations, with authorities piecing together crucial evidence.

Meanwhile, the community remained steadfast in their search efforts, with residents actively participating since the early days of Joshlin’s disappearance.

MARCH 6

As the search for Joshlin enters its third week, the police detained four individuals for questioning in connection with her disappearance.

Among those being interviewed, were two men and two women, ranging in age between 26 and 34.

Despite the passage of time, the Saldanha Bay community remains undeterred in their quest to find Joshlin, with tireless efforts fuelled by community members.

Residents call for transparency from the police as they navigate through this complex investigation. With the search intensifying and authorities pursuing leads, hopes are high for a breakthrough in locating Joshlin and bringing her home safely.

MARCH 7

Tensions ran high outside the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court as four individuals, including Joshlin’s mother, Kelly Smith, and her boyfriend, Jacquen Appollis, appeared in connection with her disappearance.

Joining them in the dock were Steveno van Rhyn and sangoma Phumza Sigaqa.

The quartet faces charges of trafficking in persons and kidnapping.

With emotions running high, community members gathered outside the court house, demanding justice for Joshlin.

Inside, the accused applied for legal aid as the court postponed proceedings to March 13 for bail information.

SIBLINGS IN CARE OF FAMILY

Meanwhile, Joshlin’s siblings are in the care of family.

Joshlin has two siblings, one aged 10 and the other only three.

The siblings are being cared for by family members under the watchful eye of the Department of Social Development.

The acting MEC for Social Development, Nomafrench Mbombo, confirmed the other two siblings were safe.

“The remaining children are with family under the watchful eye of Social Development. There is no reason to take them [children] away from their family. The family is not seen as high risk,” Mbombo said.

This after the children’s mother Kelly appeared in court for the alleged kidnapping and sale of Joshlin.

Smith, her boyfriend Jacquen Appollis, Stevano van Rhyn, and sangoma Phumza Sigaqa appeared in the Vredenberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The quartet faces charges of trafficking in persons and kidnapping. They have officially applied for legal aid.

* Additional reporting by Robin-Lee Francke.

Previous articleCritics are raving about ‘Shōgun’, a masterfully executed historical war saga
Next articleTurning point for SA financial markets? Gold at new record level