Joernalis in die Huis: lecture Clyde Adams

Datum: 6 juni 2024
Inloop: 16.45 uur
Tijd: 17.00 - 18.00 uur CET
Locatie: Keizersgracht 141-C of YouTube
Taal: English


Safety and freedom are a privilege that many children in South Africa desire. Just being a kid in the rainbow nation without the worry of getting harmed – is a thing of the past. In a country like South Africa where children fall victim to various forms of heinous crime on a daily basis, life for children and their parents is filled with fear back home. One dark and isolated crime is the kidnapping of children that frightens parents across the country and the parents whose children have unfortunately fallen into the hands of kidnappers, their lives remain one painful experience in the hopes of seeing their child again. In a country like South Africa where children are reported missing on a daily basis and with a system that is broken to deal with this type of crime, South Africa is not considered a kidnapping hub for nothing. According to Missing Children South Africa, a non-profit organization, the South African Police Service’s Missing Persons Bureau’s most recent statistics on missing children indicates that a child goes missing in the country every five hours.

These types of detailed statistics were last released in 2013 and it is once again proof of the authorities’ will to combat this life-disrupting crime. According to the police service’s statistics released in June last year, 3712 children have disappeared since 1995. Of these 3712 children, 1537 were boys and 2175 were girls. According to Missing Children South Africa’s statistics, 77% of these missing children are found but the rest of the 23% get lost and forgotten in time.

The disappearance of a green-eyed girl from Saldanha Bay on the West Coast in the Western Cape Province recently shed light on this isolated crime. Six-year-old Joslin Smith, who disappeared without a trace from her Middelpos home in Saldanha Bay on 19 February this year, is still missing almost four months after her disappearance. After extensive and large-scale searches by various units of the police service and communities, no one still has a clue about what may have happened to Joslin or where she might be. Joslin’s 33-year-old mother, Raquel Smith – better known as Kelly, her boyfriend and two other suspects are currently in custody on charges of kidnapping and human trafficking for the girl’s disappearance. The state argues that the gr. 1 learner from Diazville Primary’s mother and her boyfriend – both drug users – worked together to sell her for R20 000. Joslin’s disappearance made headlines on a local, national and even international level due to the Saldanha Bay community’s dismay and determination to find her safe and sound, politicians’ involvement in her search and social media.

The well-known Amber Alert created by the USA to warn and inform the public about a missing or kidnapped child has become the Joslin Alert in South Africa. The Amber Alert that was created with reference to Amber Rene Hagerman – who was kidnapped and later found murdered in 1996 – is synonymous with the story of so many children in South Africa. Like Joslin, there are still many children who went missing mysteriously and are still not found and in South Africa there are also children like Amber – who went missing and were found murdered in the most brutal way possible. Many of these children also did not necessarily receive the same media exposure, police resources and national interest as Joslin’s case. But while the search is still on for Joslin, her disappearance has brought many missing children cases out of the dark and the hope of South African parents is that authorities will treat this crime with all seriousness.

Joernalis in die Huis Clyde Adams will give a lecture on the burning issue of missing children in South Africa – an isolated crime that instills fear in children and their parents across the country. Join us for the event on the 6th of June or watch the lecture live on YouTube.


Keizersgracht 141-C
1015 CK Amsterdam


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