/ 25 March 2024

Joshlin Smith: Accused abandons bail application

Lourentia Lombaard appeared before the Vredenburg magistrate’s court on charges of kidnapping and human trafficking.

The fourth accused arrested for the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith from Saldanha Bay chose not to apply for bail on Monday morning.

Lourentia Lombaard appeared before the Vredenburg magistrate’s  court on charges of kidnapping and human trafficking.

She was arrested two weeks ago and allegedly confessed to information regarding the disappearance of Joshlin.

But National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said information on the “confession” would only be provided at a later stage. 

The case will be back in court on 15 May.

Joshlin disappeared on 19 February.

Her mother, Kelly Smith, alleges that Joshlin was sick and had stayed home from school. Joshlin was left in the care of Smith’s boyfriend, Jacquen Appolis, at the time of her disappearance.

Following investigations, police arrested Smith, Appolis, Steveno van Rhyn and Phumza Sigaqa on charges of human trafficking and kidnapping.

But the state withdrew the charges against Sigaqa citing a lack of evidence linking her to Joshlin’s disappearance.

In their last appearance, Smith, Appolis and Van Rhyn also abandoned their bail applications. That matter has been postponed until 13 May. The accused were remanded in custody.

The state asked the court for more time after it said there are still several outstanding documents relating to the investigation, such as cell phone data and witness statements.