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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Joshlin Smith: Woman claims mom Kelly told her in jail where missing girl is

One of the fellow inmates of the mother of Joshlin Smith claimed the missing girl was being held with other children.

On Monday, a woman who claimed to have been in Pollsmoor Prison with Racquel “Kelly” Smith, the mother of the missing Saldanha Bay girl Joshlin Smith, said she was told where the child was.

Friday, 19 April, marks two months since the headline-grabbing disappearance of the Diazville Primary School Grade 1 pupil from the Middelpos informal settlement.

What happened to Joshlin Smith?

Joshlin’s mother claimed she left her daughter in the care of her boyfriend, Jacquen “Boeta” Appollis, as the little girl with the striking green eyes, was too sick to go to school that day.

Kelly, Appollis and the couple’s friends Steveno van Rhyn and Lourentia “Renze” Lombaard were arrested and charged with human trafficking and kidnapping in connection with Joshlin’s disappearance.

joshlin smith court case renz
Lourentia ‘Renze’ Lombaard, left, during her first appearance at the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on 18 March. Kelly Smith, the mother of little Joshlin, pictured top right, and her boyfriend, Jacquin ‘Boeta’ Appollis. Pictures: Screengrab via X/ @NewzroomAfrika and Facebook/ Gayton McKenzie and Mayor Andre Truter

Senior advocate Aradhana Heeramun, who appeared for the State during their first court appearance on 7 March, alleged that Kelly instructed Appollis and Van Rhyn to sell Joshlin to another Middelpos man for R20 000 for muti.

The two men apparently made this confession after a 36-hour interrogation at Saldanha Police Station.

The four accused are due to appear in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on 13 May.

The Citizen previously reported that the 33-year-old Kelly, who is a self-confessed tik user, is pregnant with her fourth child while she is awaiting trial behind bars in Cape Town’s notorious Pollsmoor Prison.

ALSO READ: WATCH: A quarter button and ‘sakkie’ tik while Joslin Smith vanished into the night

Joshlin ‘held in drain with other children’?

In the latest developments, Middelpos councillor Vernon Vraagom told IOL that a WhatsApp voice note with the claims of Kelly’s fellow inmate started doing the rounds on Monday.

“We gathered people around and told them that the woman – who was a witness to a crime but missed a court date and was arrested thereafter – said she was told by Kelly that the child was at the shack where a sangoma lives in Middelpos,” Vraagom said.

“She described the shack and said there is a Kombi that parks there. According to her, we should check under it because there’s a drain and that Joshlin wasn’t the only child who was there.”

“We had to follow that lead because we were desperate to find the girl,” Vraagom said.

The councillor said Diazville residents did not find anything when they went to the sangoma’s shack.

ALSO READ: Joshlin Smith: Court chaos, Pollsmoor fisticuffs, new leads and claims of two more suspects

Noorddam Street stormwater drain searched again

Vraagom also told the publication that they received another lead on Wednesday to search the stormwater drain behind the Diazville High School in Noorddam Street.

“A person came forward and said they saw Jacquen and his friend Steveno put a bag in a drain near Diazville High School the night Joshlin disappeared,” he explained.

joshlin smith
A fleece top, backpack, baby blanket and piece of bone discovered in a drain in Diazville were sent to forensics to determine whether they are connected to Joshlin Smith. Photo: Supplied

“Shortly after that, the drain overflowed and that is where bloody clothes were found the second time.

“On Wednesday, we asked the police and the municipality to help with the machines to dig, [but] nothing positive came out of that,” Vraagom said.

“We are waiting for the blueprints of the area so they can take a look inside the stormwater pipes.”

Police shut down rumours

Western Cape police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm Pojie, said that Joshlin remains missing and that their investigating team is still pursuing all leads.

According to Pojie, investigating teams followed up on leads that led them to searching the stormwater drain again on Wednesday.

“The actions taken in Saldanha yesterday [Wednesday] are based on information received from a member of the public. Unfortunately, no positive result was achieved.”

Pojie also shut down rumours that little Joshlin was sighted in the Saldanha Bay area during the week.  

Interpol roped into Joshlin Smith case

Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed at a recent imbizo in Hanover Park, Cape Town, that the South African Police Service (Saps) were now working with Interpol to find Joshlin.

joshlin smith interpol search
Interpol has been roped in to assist with the disappearance case of Joshlin Smith across borders. Photos: Facebook and Olivier Chassignole/ AFP

“It doesn’t look like they are pointing us in the right direction. That includes the mother. But we are not sleeping on this. 

“A week ago, we were working with our international sister organisation Interpol and other agencies because there was information we needed to verify that the kid might have been put in one [or another] vessel,” Cele explained.

“One ship in a city in Europe was searched for two days trying to find her.

“But we are also trying to find in which other cities the ship might have docked. We have cast our net internationally trying to find the child,” said Cele.  

A yellow notice for the missing little girl has been issued and posted on Interpol’s website. 

  • Anyone with information on Joshlin’s whereabouts can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111, or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

NOW READ: Where is Joshlin Smith? Case of missing Saldanha girl extends abroad