Four implicated in Joshlin Smith disappearance back in court

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

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

Published May 13, 2024


After nearly a month, the four accused in the disappearance of Joshlin Smith from Saldanha Bay are back in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

It has been nearly three months since six-year-old Joshlin disappeared.

Currently, Joshlin’s mother, Kelly Smith, her boyfriend, Jacquen ‘Boeta’ Appolis, Stevano van Rhyn, and Lourentia Lombaard have been charged with trafficking in persons for the purpose of exploitation and kidnapping.

The group all abandoned their bail and were remanded in custody.

Joshlin’s 33-year-old mother, Kelly Smith. Picture: Independent Newspapers

It will be the first time the group appears together in the dock.

Lombaard was the last of the accused to have been arrested.

Residents are said to be coming out in their numbers to court, hoping some questions will be answered.

Jacquen ‘Boeta’ Appolis, boyfriend of Kelly Smith. Picture: Patrick Louw / Independent Newspapers

The community of Saldanha Bay continues to have hope in finding the Grade 1 learner from Diazville Primary School alive.

At the previous court appearance of he group, angry residents clashed with police, demanding answers from the accused.

The court is expected to hear how far the investigation has progressed and whether outstanding statements, affidavits and analyses have been completed.

Steveno van Rhyn. Picture: Patrick Louw / Independent Newspapers

On Tuesday, March 5, 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 a woman for around R20,000.

Police are yet to confirm this information and court proceedings may reveal what really happened to Joshlin.

Lourentia Lombaard. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

At the time of Joshlin’s disappearance, Smith told police that when she had returned home after being out for the day, she had looked for the child but could not find her.

She later got hold of her boyfriend, Appolis, who was supposed to look after Joshlin, but he could not account for her whereabouts.

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

The search for Joshlin continues.

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