WATCH | Teargas & chaos outside court before Joshlin Smith's mother's appearance

13 March 2024 - 10:37
By Kim Swartz

Police jostled with angry protesters and fired teargas before the court appearance of four suspects on charges related to the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith.

Hundreds of protesters demanded access to the Vredenburg magistrate's court but were kept behind a barbed wire fence by police.

Some community members pulled at the fence, prompting chaotic scenes as police intervened. The angry crowd also objected when local Patriotic Alliance leader Ashley Sauls, known as “Oom Biza”, was denied access to the court, reportedly due to concern over “TikTok influencers” who were asked to exit the court.

However, Oom Biza told police in the court he had papers which described the criteria to allow him access on behalf of the party.

Protesters were chanting “let Biza in”.

Joshlin's mother, Racquel Chantel Smith, known as Kelly, aged 33, her boyfriend Jacquin “Boeta” Appollis, 31, Steveno van Rhyn and Phumza Sigaqa are charged with human trafficking and kidnapping.

The case is expected to start at 10.30am due to delays in transporting Kelly to court from Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town.

Joshlin's whereabouts remain unknown. She was reported missing on February 19.

The state has indicated it will oppose bail.