More resources pumped into search for missing little Joshlin

Joshlin Smith, aged 7, has been missing for over a week.

Joshlin Smith, aged 7, has been missing for over a week.

Published Mar 1, 2024


Cape Town - More than a week into the search for missing Joshlin Smith, the City dispatched its resources to find her as police scaled down their search.

This came after Saldanha Bay mayor André Truter was forced to look further afield for help and wrote to the City of Cape Town.

An unidentified man helps in the search seven-year-old Joshlin Smith.

SAPS spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said the search was scaled down, but not stopped.

“The investigating team are still pursuing all leads to trace the missing girl,” he said.

Truter decided to call an urgent meeting with Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis to ask for more resources.

“I do not support the scaling down of resources. In fact, if anything, we need to step it up. This motivated me to contact Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and seek support.

“I do realise that the SAPS decision may be motivated by available funding, but for us as local government in Saldanha Bay Municipality, the tracing of little Joshlin is of paramount importance. This led to a meeting with mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and safety and security Mayco member JP Smith,” Truter said.

The City said it dispatched policing resources to Saldanha Bay yesterday morning, including investigators, K9 unit search dogs, Marine Unit members and water craft, as well as experienced search and rescue volunteers and drones.

Hill-Lewis said: “We are glad to contribute these policing resources following discussions with mayor Truter late on Wednesday evening. As parents ourselves, it is extremely painful and distressing that this little girl is still missing. We pray she is found soon.”

JP Smith said the teams dispatched to Saldanha had experience in assisting police.

“We know these officers will bring valuable skills to the search effort.

“We initiated workstreams between municipalities to ensure that we are able to respond when called upon.”

As the official search continued, Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton Mckenzie followed his own leads as he offered R250 000 for any tip-off that may lead to the whereabouts of the Grade 1 learner.

On Wednesday evening, his team found a pink girl’s sandal at a resort and fresh footprints, but couldn’t determine who the shoe belonged to as they couldn’t find the child’s mother, Kelly Smith, 33.

Kelly Smith mother of missing Joshlin. l PATRICK LOUW

Yesterday afternoon, Mckenzie went to Tygerberg Hospital where a woman said she bought a girl who looked like Joshlin a pie.

“The hospital told us they are going to view the footage and if they see something they will call us back so we can all view it. She was seen on Wednesday by the woman,” he said.

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