Joshlin Smith: ‘No, I didn't sell her,' says pregnant mother Kelly

Missing Joshlin Smith’s mother Kelly and her co-accused return to Vredenburg court in human trafficking case. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/ Independent Newspapers

Missing Joshlin Smith’s mother Kelly and her co-accused return to Vredenburg court in human trafficking case. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/ Independent Newspapers

Published May 14, 2024


“No, I didn’t sell her”, those were the words of Kelly Smith, mother of missing Joshlin Smith on Monday in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court.

Kelly also showed up in court visibly pregnant.

Smith, alongside her boyfriend Jacquen ‘Boeta’ Appollis, and their friends Steveno van Rhyn and Lourentia Lombaard appeared together in the dock.

The four were arrested and charged with kidnapping and human trafficking of six-year-old Joshlin in March.

Kelly’s baby bump. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

The Diazville Primary School learner disappeared from her Middelpos home 85 days ago, on 19 February, and it is believed she was sold for R20,000.

On Monday, Saldanha Bay residents showed up in numbers outside the courthouse, in the hopes that they would finally hear the location of the missing girl.

Dressed in Patriotic Alliance T-shirts, the crowd got out of a chartered bus, chanting: “Where is Joshlin?”

The crowd started chanting: ‘where is Joshlin?’ Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Inside court, State advocate Aradhana Heeramun said they are in the process of finalising the case.

The prosecutor said: “All information that is received by the police is being followed up. I can further confirm that forensic reports have been received.

“On completion of this investigation, this court will be informed of the forum that the matter will be tried. The State’s request today is for postponement until July 15.”

Joshlin Smith has been missing since Monday, February 19. Picture: Supplied

When the Daily Voice asked Kelly where Joshlin was and if it is true that she had sold her daughter, she replied: “I don’t know, ask Boeta [Appollis], and no I didn’t sell her.”

Appollis replied that he “didn’t know anything”.

Joshlin’s paternal grandmother, Lauretta Yon said she was disappointed about the postponement.

“I was hoping we would find out where Joshlin is. Now we have to wait for another two months to go back to court,” Yon said.

Grandmother Lauretta Yon outside court. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Lauretta revealed that she paid Smith a visit in jail on May 4, and begged her to spill the beans on Joshlin.

“I asked Kelly when I visited her on that Saturday to talk or else she is going to be locked away for a long time. Where is your child?’ I asked, and she maintained she didn't know. She insisted that she was not part of this. Her mood was very cool.

“I only heard [today] that she was pregnant. I didn’t see that when I visited her, I was late for court, so I couldn’t see that.

“She wanted to know why I didn’t bring her young daughter. I told her that I don’t want her to visit her in jail. Joshlin’s father came from Springbok on Sunday night, he is not talking to us about how he feels,” Yon said.

Dad Jose Emke refused to comment about his daughter’s disappearance, only saying: “I am not feeling well, I don’t want to talk.”

The group will remain in custody and are expected back in court on July 15.