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As the four accused in the missing Joslin Smith case are set to make their bail bids, her gran said mom Kelly ‘chose drugs at a young age’.

The one and only window of Racquel “Kelly” Smith’s rickety shack provides a glimpse of Saldanha’s Middelpos informal settlement, where poverty reigns and her six-year-old daughter Joslin vanished like a needle in a haystack three weeks ago on 19 February.

When Kelly arrived back home from a domestic odd job at 5pm on the fateful day Joslin went missing, the first thing she did was go and buy a “sakkie” tik.

This according to Steveno van Rhyn, who said he was visiting Kelly and her boyfriend of two years, Jacquin “Boeta” Appollis, at the time.

Kelly Smith’s house in Saldanha. Her daughter, Joslin Smith, was last seen on 19 February wearing a light blue T-shirt and light blue denim shorts. Photo: Gallo Images/ Brenton Geach

WATCH: Mandrax and tik and then Joslin Smith was gone…

Van Rhyn told Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie in a TikTok interview that he smoked some Mandrax with Appollis and another woman before Kelly came home.

“We smoked a quarter button. The woman got up and asked Joslin to check if her other child was still sleeping in another hokkie. She left and then both of them were never seen after that.”

According to Van Rhyn, who has since been arrested and charged alongside Kelly, Appollis and alleged sangoma Phumza Sigaqa in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court with human trafficking and kidnapping, Joslin was not in their “gedagtes” [thoughts] until later that evening.

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My heart is breaking even more.. But im here to keep the upsates going foe you guys😟🙏🏻 #joslinsmith #investigation #bringherhome

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Accused back in court for bail hearing in disappearance case of Joslin

The four accused will appear before Magistrate Theresa Posthma for their bail application on Wednesday, 13 March.

More charges could be added as the investigation into the disappearance of the Grade 1 Diazville Primary School pupil advances.

joslin smith court missing girl sangoma
The four suspects in the Joslin Smith disappearance case appear in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on 7 March 2024. They are, from left, Jacquin ‘Boeta’ Appollis, Steveno van Rhyn, Racquel ‘Kelly’ Smith and Phumza Sigaqa. Photo: Twitter @SAPoliceService

Senior advocate Aradhana Heeramun, who appeared for the State, alleged last week that Kelly instructed Appollis and Van Rhyn to sell Joslin to another Middelpos man for R20 000 for muti.

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

ALSO READ: Muti murders in SA: Has Joslin Smith fallen prey to ‘occult economy’?

‘I don’t know why Boeta and Steveno are doing this to me’

Wearing a blue puffer jacket and her bleached blonde hair scraped back into a ponytail, the mother of three stared emotionless in front of her as the court proceedings unfolded last week.

“I don’t know why Boeta and Steveno are doing this to me. I did not sell my child,” Kelly, according to Netwerk24, told a police officer shortly before entering the packed courtroom.

ALSO READ: Joslin Smith: Husband of alleged sangoma claims cops ‘tortured’ her in front of kids

Mom Kelly claims she stopped using tik after Joslin went missing

Joslin Smith
Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie, left, and Kelly Smith, the mother of the missing Joslin, and her boyfriend, Jacquin ‘Boeta’ Appollis. Photos via Facebook/ Gayton McKenzie

During a conversation between Kelly and McKenzie, which was shared on Facebook Live on 27 February, Joslin’s mother claimed that she and Appollis had been clean for a week.

“At this moment, I’m clean. I did use tik. I’ve been clean for a week… I’m honest.”

When asked by McKenzie whether her boyfriend was on tik while he had to take care of Joslin on the day of her appearance, Kelly bluntly answered:

“I wasn’t at home, I don’t know. I can’t answer this question. He has been clean for a week.”

ALSO READ: Polygraph tests and chilling confessions: ‘Kelly would never sell Joslin for money’

Was Joslin sold to cover ‘drug debt’?

Joslin Smith
Joslin Smith went missing just more than two weeks ago in Middelpos, Diazville, near Saldanha. Photo via Facebook/ Andre Truter

Jose Emke, Joslin’s biological father who lives in Springbok, told IOL two weeks ago that he suspects his daughter’s disappearance was likely linked to “drug debt,” which he claimed was racked up by Kelly and Appollis.

The couple who have openly admitted to being regular tik (crystal meth) users. 

Kelly left home when she was 13 for ‘tik and drugs’

According to 33-year-old Kelly’s mother, Amanda Daniels, her daughter left their home in Aggeneys, in the Northern Cape, for Saldanha Bay at the tender age of 13.

Since then, they have drifted apart over the years, to the point of no return.

“Kelly already made her choice to use tik and drugs at a young age,” Daniels told Netwerk24 in a telephonic interview from a Cape Town clinic where she is being treated for depression.

Suspects In The Joslin Smith Disappearance Case Appear At Vredenburg Magistrate's Court
Kelly Smith during the Joslin Smith disappearance case at Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on 7 March. Photo: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

“She lived with my mother in Saldanha. Over the years, we’ve offered to help Kelly on several occasions to get her life back on track for the sake of her children and herself.

“Every time, Kelly only stayed with us for short periods of time before she relapsed and disappeared again,” Joslin’s distraught gran confessed.

‘I can still feel her’

Daniels, who saw Joslin last year, said she believes that her green-eyed granddaughter is alive.

“I can still feel her. It does not feel to me as if she is dead. I just hope and pray that the people who took her, will find it in their hearts to do the right thing and return her safely to us.”

Blood-stained clothes

joslin smith
A knife that was planted in the ground that the police came across during the search for Joslin Smith in the Middelpos Forest on 4 March 2024 in Saldanha. Photo: Gallo Images/ Die Burger/ Theo Jeptha

On Sunday, 3 March, Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm Pojie confirmed that a child’s bloodstained clothing, a sheet and a knife were found the previous evening in an open field about a kilometre away from the shack where Joslin and her brother, 10, and sister, three, lived with Kelly and Appollis.

The items have been sent to the police’s forensic laboratory for DNA analysis. The results have, however, not been made public. This while Appollis claimed that the clothes were not Joslin’s.

The little girl – who has a birthmark on her right arm – was last seen wearing a light blue T-shirt and light blue denim shorts.

  • The extensive search operation for Joslin is still ongoing, with a reward of R250 000 offered for any information that could assist the police in locating the missing girl.
  • Anyone with information on her whereabouts can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 08600 10111, or SMS Crime Line on 32211.
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