The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Crime, Missing Persons, Saldanha, Vredenburg

[WATCH ] Urgent Police Appeal as Four Suspects Appear in Court for Trafficking in Joshlin’s Disappearance

Michael Hawthorne

“Ultimate Goal: Finding the Child Alive!” – Lt Gen Patekile Urges Action as Four Face Trafficking Charges in Joshlin Smith’s Case!

VREDENBURG – In a dramatic turn of events surrounding the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith, Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen TE Patekile, emphasized the ongoing efforts to locate the missing child. The situation unfolded as Joshlin’s mother, Raquel, also known as Kelly Smith, and her boyfriend, Jacquine Appolis, appeared in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court alongside Steveno van Rhyn, and Phumza Sigaqo.

Lt Gen TE Patekile addressed the media outside the courthouse, stating, “At this stage, we do not have a child. Our ultimate goal is to find the child so that closure can be achieved.” He urged the public to refrain from interfering in the investigation but stressed the importance of collaboration with law enforcement to bring the child home.

The Commissioner acknowledged the significant involvement of the community in the search for Joshlin since her disappearance from a home in the Middelpos informal settlement on February 19th. He cautioned against speculation, emphasizing that the police are actively conducting the investigation.

During the court appearance, a large contingent of family members, media representatives, and officials from the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and Police Oversight filled the courtroom. The acting Minister of Social Development in the province also provided updates, revealing that Joshlin’s siblings have been placed with family members. Additionally, two other siblings are under the care of the Department of Social Development.

As the investigation unfolds, Lt Gen TE Patekile revealed that the charges currently include kidnapping and trafficking in persons for exploitation. However, he emphasized that additional charges and suspects might be added as the case progresses.

The community, deeply involved in the search efforts, gathered outside the court in support. Lt Gen TE Patekile reassured the public that the search would extend throughout the Saldanha Bay area, potentially expanding to other regions. He urged citizens to remain vigilant and cooperate with law enforcement.

The solemn atmosphere outside the courtroom was palpable. Lt Gen TE Patekile maintained optimism about finding Joshlin alive but acknowledged the possibility of more arrests and charges as the investigation unfolds.

As the nation approaches International Women’s Day, the unresolved case of Joshlin Smith serves as a stark reminder of the pressing issues facing society. The community’s collective hope is that answers about Joshlin’s whereabouts will soon be uncovered, bringing an end to this distressing chapter.


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