DA is misusing Joslin case for political gain, say police

Henry

The police accuse the DA of exploiting the case of the missing Saldanha daughter, Joslin Smith (6), for political gain.

The police refer in particular to a poster on which the DA’s name and a photo of Joslin appear.

This poster indicates that Police Minister Bheki Cele has withdrawn from the search for the child, while the City of Cape Town has stepped in to take over the case, even though they have fewer resources.

“The ministry learned with absolute horror of a poster that the party is distributing on social media and which misleads the public about the involvement of the South African police service in the active search for six-year-old Joslin Smith who was found on February 19 in Saldanha Bay in the West – Cape disappeared,” Cele said on Friday.

The minister is visiting Saldanha Bay today (Saturday) to address the community.

Cele says the DA has reached a “new low” by politicizing “a sensitive, sad case of a missing child” in order to gain votes.

Although the city did make additional resources available at the request of Saldanha Bay’s mayor, AndrĂ© Truter, after the police scaled back their search, it is however not certain whether the poster is indeed the party’s.

It was not shared on the DA’s national or provincial social media platforms nor on any of the DA leaders’ profiles.

The police are nevertheless furious and claim that only the police helicopter has been withdrawn from the search.

Media conference of the government's interdepartmental group charged with justice, crime prevention and security

“However, the police canine unit, officers and investigators are still actively searching for Joslin.”

Lt. Col. Malcolm Pojie, police spokesperson in the Western Cape, said on Wednesday that their large-scale search had yet to yield any sign of the child, despite numerous resources being deployed to find her. Hence the decision to scale back the search.

This prompted Truter to contact Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape.

After a meeting with Geordin Hill-Lewis, mayor of Cape Town, and JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, Truter made an official request to the city for manpower and resources to continue the search.

The city agreed and on Thursday deployed its own policing resources to Saldanha Bay to help search for Joslin.

This includes sniffer dogs, drones, members of the marine unit and boats as well as experienced search and rescue volunteers.

RNews reported that Joslin disappeared from her home in the Middelpos informal settlement in Saldanha Bay more than a week ago. No one has yet been arrested in connection with her disappearance or identified as official suspects by the police.