Politics & Legal

Gayton McKenzie Pledges His R1.27 Million Annual Salary to Joshlin Smith Foundation

Newly elected Sports Minister, Gayton McKenzie, dedicates his entire parliamentary salary to the cause of missing children, with a special focus on the Joshlin Smith Foundation.

In a heartfelt and powerful gesture, the newly elected Sports Minister, Gayton McKenzie, has committed his entire annual salary of R1.27 million to the Joshlin Smith Foundation for missing children. McKenzie, who is also the leader of the Patriotic Alliance, emphasized that his ministerial position is not motivated by financial gain but by a deep desire to impact lives positively.

“One hundred percent of my salary I’m giving it to the Joshlin Smith Foundation for missing children for the duration of my stay in Parliament, 100% of my salary not 80% or 50%…Because I’m not here for money, I’m here to change lives of our people,” McKenzie declared, demonstrating his dedication to social causes.

This significant donation comes in the wake of McKenzie’s earlier announcement in March, where he pledged a R1 million reward for the safe return of six-year-old Joshlin Smith, a child whose disappearance has shaken the nation. McKenzie highlighted the importance of the search for Joshlin, stating, “This child has become the conscience of our nation. This is a rainbow child. I am taking R1 million of my own money that I could have put into my political campaign. I will have a million rand less [for] posters, I will have a million rand less [for] t-shirts, I will have a million rand less of diesel for my campaign but for me, what is bigger than politics is finding that green-eyed girl.”

Joshlin Smith, a Grade 1 learner from Diazville Primary, has been missing since February 19. Her mother, Kelly Smith, along with her boyfriend, Jacquen ‘Boeta’ Appolis, Stevano van Rhyn, and Lourentia Lombaard, face charges of trafficking in persons for the purpose of exploitation and kidnapping. The State alleges that Joshlin was sold for R20,000, a claim that has horrified the community.

The accused have been remanded in custody and are expected to appear in court on July 15. Meanwhile, the Western Cape police confirmed in June that an item of clothing, believed to be Joshlin’s, has been collected for forensic analysis. This discovery has provided a glimmer of hope amidst the ongoing search efforts led by the community and activists, who refuse to give up despite the lack of substantial leads.

McKenzie’s commitment to donating his salary underscores his broader vision of societal change and his deep empathy towards the plight of missing children. His actions resonate with many South Africans, offering a beacon of hope and a call to action for others to contribute to such noble causes.

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