WATCH: Fourth accused linked to Joshlin Smith disappearance appears in court

Published Mar 18, 2024


A fourth accused linked to the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith made her first appearance on Monday morning in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court.

Lourentia Lombaard, who is known to the girl’s mom Kelly, was charged on Friday.

The small-built woman who walked into the dock on Monday morning, showed no emotion.

The State revealed that the 32-year-old had made a confession to the police. Lombaard told the court that she wanted to make use of the Legal Aid service.

She was the last person to be taken in for questioning. Her case has been postponed until March 25 for bail information.

Joshlin went missing on February 19 after skipping school because she was not feeling well.

The police, community members and politicians conducted extensive searches in the Middelpos area in Diazville, but didn’t find her.

On March 5, the police arrested Joshlin’s mom Kelly, Jacquen Appollis, Steveno Rhyn and Phumza Sigaqa for human trafficking and kidnapping.

The State subsequently withdrew the charges against Sigaqa due to lack of evidence.

Smith, Appollis and Van Rhyn are expected back in court on May 13 for further investigation.

The kidnapping and human trafficking charges were dropped against Sigaqa last Wednesday, with the State saying it had no evidence linking her to the crimes.

Sigaqa has broken her silence, and said that she still fears for her life: “I was accused of being a sangoma and I have never been one. I still don’t understand why the police arrested me in this case.

“I don’t feel good, I suffered at the hands of the police. I have had to leave everything I have because I fear for my safety. I have been released from jail, but I still don’t feel like a free woman. I am still very much in prison.”

With regard to the investigations into Joshlin’s case, Police spokesperson, Malcolm Pojie, said: “Be advised that it is normal practice that during such intricate investigations, people of interest will be taken in for questioning or will be interviewed with the aim to solve such a case.

“As such, in the interest of solving this case and finding Joshlin, we cannot disclose operational details and give a blow-to-blow account as the investigation into finding Joshlin Smith unfolds as this can potentially jeopardise an ongoing investigation.

“We shall communicate with you should more people be charged to appear in a court of law.”

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