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New suspect charged in disappearance of South African girl

By Rédaction Africanews |

SOUTH AFRICA – A new suspect has been charged in connection with the disappearance of six-year-old Joslin Smith, who vanished last month from her home near Saldanha Bay, located approximately 110km (70 miles) northwest of Cape Town.

The 32-year-old woman was formally charged with kidnapping and human trafficking during a hearing at the Vredenburg Magistrates’ Court in the Western Cape province on Monday. This arrest adds to the list of individuals currently in custody, including Joslin’s mother, Kelly Smith, her boyfriend, Jacquen Appollis, and another suspect, all facing similar charges of kidnapping and trafficking.

Notably, a traditional healer who was initially detained has been released due to insufficient evidence.

The newly apprehended suspect is set to undergo a bail hearing scheduled for 25 March, while Kelly Smith and the other defendants are expected to appear in court again on 13 May. Despite extensive efforts, Joslin’s whereabouts remain unknown, leaving her family and the community in anguish.

Expressing her determination to find her daughter, Kelly Smith conveyed to The Daily Voice, “My motherly instincts are telling me my daughter is still alive and in this area. We will find her, I will walk on foot to find her. I will look in every little shack, I’m going to do it by myself if I have to.”

Prior to her disappearance, Joslin was left in the care of Kelly Smith’s boyfriend, who maintains his innocence in the matter.

Statistics reveal that, on average, a child goes missing every five hours in South Africa, though the majority are eventually located. Despite this, the search for Joslin Smith continues as authorities and loved ones remain hopeful for her safe return.

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