‘You will be held accountable,’ Saldanha Bay Mayor Andrè Truter says on spreading misinformation on Joshlin Smith’s disappearance

Saldanha Bay Mayor, Andrè Truter. Picture: Facebook / Andrè Truter

Saldanha Bay Mayor, Andrè Truter. Picture: Facebook / Andrè Truter

Published Feb 27, 2024


The Executive Mayor of Saldanha Bay, Andrè Truter has urged people to refrain from spreading fake news regarding the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith.

Joshlin, from Diazville in Saldanha along the West Coast, was last seen on Monday, February 19, at about 5pm.

Police confirmed a missing persons report was opened at the local police station on Tuesday, February 20.

She has been missing for eight days with no solid leads in finding her.

Hundreds of people have descended on the small town to assist in finding little Joshlin.

On Tuesday, Truter took to his Facebook page to express his dissatisfaction over fake news being spread, surrounding the girl’s disappearance.

“It is early morning and I, like most of you are tired. I am tired because of a lack of rest. I am tired of people, that are not even from Saldanha Bay Municipality, causing confusion, misinformation, trauma, and ultimately also vigilante actions. I have news for you, you will be held accountable, but I leave that to SAPS (sic),” the first part of his post read.

He has urged people to not send police on a wild goose chase and waste resources.

“The sad news is twofold. One, Joslin have still not been found. Two, the danger here is that the focus is no longer on finding little Joslin, but rather sideshows. Well no more!! Our function is to support the TEAM of Detectives that are working 24/7 on this, not to waste their time and lead them on wild goose chase!(sic)”.

Truter asked for people to refrain from asking questions or raising their opinions, but instead to focus on finding hard evidence that will lead to finding Joshlin.

He urged anyone to give any information to detectives to test and not send this information to social media platforms because this would only be informing criminal elements exactly at which stage the investigation is.

Truter has raised concerns that this may also steer attention away from those who may be involved and allow them to “make a new move”.

“Our focus going forward is finding Joshlin. Nothing else,” he said.

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