Four suspects charged in connection with disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith

Posted on May 13, 2024
by Yashmika Dukaran

Four suspects are set to appear in the Vredenburg magistrate's court on Monday regarding the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith.

Among the accused are the girl's mother, Racquel Chantel Smith, known as Kelly, her boyfriend Jacquin "Boeta" Appollis, and close friend Steveno van Rhyn. They face charges of kidnapping and human trafficking. Smith reported her daughter missing from their home in the Middlebos informal settlement in Saldanha Bay on February 19, stating she had left the child in Appollis' care while she went to work. A search involving police, municipal teams, and community organizations was launched, but the child has not been found.

Phumza Sigaqa was arrested after one of the other accused claimed she had "bought" Joshlin for R20,000, an accusation she denied. However, charges against her were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila stated, "After further investigation, there was insufficient evidence against accused number four. The investigation continues."

Another woman, 31-year-old Lourentia Lombard, was arrested on March 17 in connection with the child's disappearance.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said, "It is normal practice that during such intricate investigations, people of interest will be taken in for questioning or interviewed to solve the case."

Lombard opted not to apply for bail and is expected to appear in court alongside the child's mother, Appollis, and Van Rhyn.