‘Arrests’ in case of Joshlin Smith

Joshlin Smith. Picture: supplied

Joshlin Smith. Picture: supplied

Published Mar 6, 2024

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Cape Town - Police on Tuesday made a breakthrough in the case of a 7-year-old Saldanha Bay girl whose disappearance two weeks ago has captivated South Africa.

A highly-placed police source yesterday confirmed that two suspects had been arrested for the disappearance of Joshlin Smith.

According to the same source, a third suspect is still wanted.

Now it is believed that the girl had allegedly been trafficked for R20000.

The Grade 1 learner from Diazville Primary School disappeared on February 19 from her home in the Middelpos informal settlement.

According to past reports, the girl’s mother, Kelly, had left her in the care of her boyfriend, Jacquin Appollis, while she went to work. However, Appollis reportedly said he last saw Joshlin in the afternoon while she was playing with friends outside.

A massive search party, consisting of various law enforcement agencies from across the province and community members, has since been under way to find Joshlin.

Over the weekend, police confirmed that their search had expanded after they found pieces of clothing allegedly stained with blood on an open field during random searches on Saturday night. The SAPS also explained the evidence was to be sent for forensic examination.

The arrests, according to the source, had been prompted by a confession to the police. One of the suspects is said to be a sangoma.

Despite an extensive search of the area using local and provincial resources, there have been no signs of the little girl.

On the day Joshlin disappeared she was wearing a light blue T-shirt and light blue denim shorts. She has a birthmark on her right arm.

The disappearance of the girl has also turned into a political football field as Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie, who is his party’s premier candidate for the Western Cape, has offered a R250 000 reward for information.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has also visited Saldanha and the DA-controlled City of Cape Town has lent its resources to search for the little girl.

Last night, police would not confirm the arrests due to the sensitive nature of the case and numerous false alarms prompted by social media influencers on Facebook and TikTok.

Related Topics:

SAPSmissing children