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Thousands Unite in Outcry to Deny Bail in the Heart-Wrenching Joshlin Smith Trafficking Case

Published March 12, 2024
2 months ago

The South African community has rallied together in an overwhelming response to the tragic case of Joshlin Smith, a 6-year-old girl who vanished from her home in the Middelpos informal settlement in Diazville, Saldanha Bay, on 19 February. As of today, it has been over three weeks since her disappearance, and a concerned public is raising a resolute voice against the suspected perpetrators.

A petition initiated on 8 March has rapidly garnered support, amassing over 15,000 signatures. The petition, started by June Major, calls on the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court to deny bail to the four individuals linked to the appalling case of human trafficking and kidnapping that has ensnared young Joshlin. Those accused include Kelly Smith, the child's mother; Jacquen Appollis, the boyfriend; Steveno van Rhyn; and Phumza Sigaqa, the alleged sangoma.

Revelatory details have emerged suggesting that Joshlin was heartbreakingly sold to the sangoma for roughly R20,000, casting a shadow on the society's undercurrents that allow such heinous acts to occur. Last week, a suspect was taken into custody based on a confession reported by IOL, shaking the community and prompting vehement calls for justice.

The matter has seen a postponement to 13 March for deliberation on bail, with the accused remaining behind bars until then. As Western Cape Provincial Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile hints at more charges and arrests to come, the intensity surrounding the case only deepens.

Reagen Allen, Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight, aligns with public sentiment by urging the court to refuse bail. He extends this plea on Facebook, emphasizing the urgency in finding Joshlin and reuniting her with her family. This case stands as more than an isolated incident; it symbolizes the broader struggle against child trafficking and the dire need for robust law enforcement interventions.

As the court date looms, the community's call for action is clear: deny bail, ensure justice, and take unyielding steps to find Joshlin Smith and bring her home.

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