Archive for the ‘DNA Project’ Category

 

ISHI 26: Under the Microscope – Vanessa Lynch

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Vanessa has very kindly been invited back to present a talk entitled “Investigation of the Muldersdrift Serial Rapist” at this year’s upcoming ISHI (International Symposium on Human Identification) conference being held in Grapevine, Texas, in the United States from the 12th – 15th of October.

The following is a short interview with Vanessa by ISHI for their “Under the Microscope” guest speaker feature.

How did you come to work in the field of forensics/DNA?
Bizarrely it was actually through the lack of DNA evidence being collected on my father’s crime scene that brought me to this work – that coupled with the words of Prof Berndt Brinkmann, a forensic scientist in Germany who is the father of a close friend of mine – after my father was murdered, Prof Brinkmann told me to send him any DNA evidence or even just evidence from my fathers crime scene to his lab in Germany so that he could test it for possible traces of DNA. Sadly all the evidence had been discarded – clothing, the bottle the killers had been drinking from and blood of the killers on the perimeter fence which was not collected. This  was then followed by the Prof’s question ‘does SA have a DNA database?’ – that really changed everything for me as I knew then that was exactly what we needed in SA: a DNA database coupled with greater crime scene awareness!

If you woke up tomorrow and this field no longer existed, what would you choose for a career?
I would apply to the United Nations to continue philanthropic work on a global scale.

What new technologies are you most excited about or where do you see the field heading in the next 10 years?
Bearing in mind that SA is still lagging behind somewhat in utilising the amazing developments in DNA profiling being applied in international criminal justice systems, I would say that currently for me, the most exciting technology in a  SA context would be the ability to differentiate between mixed profiles  – we have a huge problem with gang rape in SA and this would change the way in which these types of cases are resolved.

What was the most challenging or bizarre case that you’ve worked on?
I don’t work with cases as such, but have been exposed to many different cases through the work that I do. Probably the most bizarre case was when someone called me and told me that the police had found pieces of his father in a suitcase and was seeking advice as to what to do.

What person would you say has had the biggest influence on your life?
My father. It was because of his death that I now do what I do but also because of what he taught me in my life when he was alive that I believe I possessed the ability to do what I did after he was killed. The work of the DNA Project has changed me irrevocably in a way that would not have happened had my father still been alive. I am not saying that I would not have changed that but because it did happen, I know that this was what I was meant to do with my life.

Can you think of a specific example where ISHI has helped you in your career or with a case?
Without a doubt my first visit to ISHI last year exceeded my expectations in terms of what I learnt about this technology and the field of forensic DNA profiling, albeit I am not a scientist! The advances being made in DNA profiling insofar it relates to crime detection and resolution and the software available to achieve this are quite literally mind-blowing. Learning from a forum such as ISHI is unprecedented and it has  provided me with the ability to think strategically on how best to focus the work of the DNA Project in a way which will have the most impact going forward. Learning from other jurisdictions’ experiences and taking those lessons back to SA has helped enormously.

Who in the audience would benefit most from your talk?
It’s difficult to say, but because SA has such a high crime rate, possibly all disciplines would be able to calculate how best they would have approached the situation and what their result would have been or be based on what facilities and technologies are available to them at present. It will possibly provide the audience with some insight into their own situation and maybe even enable them to offer SA advice on how best to approach certain cases?

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the winnings?
Approach it in much the same way as I approached the work I had to do in the DNA Project: how do you eat an elephant? Bit by Bit – I would break it down into all the areas where I felt it was needed and apply it accordingly. I would love to be able to use it less as a straight donation than as a means to empower people to make a difference. I would actively seek ways to do that. And I would definitely use some of it to travel the world with my family!

If you were to have a theme song, what would it be?
An interesting question! We are about to look into the possibility of a local rapper in SA compiling a rap song about crime and how the culprits got away because the crime scene was disturbed …and of course how this could change if we learnt that we must not disturb a crime scene etc etc – its a great way of reaching and teaching communities through  song – a medium that SA communities love and resonate with. So watch this space and hopefully we will have a theme song with a difference that will make a difference to play at ISHI!

What would your ideal vacation be?
All new destinations are exciting for me, even if it’s not a vacation; so I can’t really say I have an ideal vacation – but my travels are usually quite energetic – I am not one to lie on the beach all day, however beautiful!

SOURCE: http://ishinews.com/under-the-microscope-vanessa-lynch/

DNA Awareness Trainer wanted for KZN

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015


We are urgently looking for an additional DNA & Crime Scene Awareness Trainer to host our DNA CSI workshops in the KZN region.

DNA Project Team 2015

If you are passionate about forensics and fighting crime, are confident and presentable with great public speaking skills then please email us ASAP at info@dnaproject.co.za with your CV.

Please Note:

  • Preference will be given to someone with knowledge of genetics and/or forensics.
  • This is a part time position where you will be paid per workshop.

The closing date for all applications is Sunday the 12th of July 2015.

Thousands of detectives now trained to handle DNA

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

SAPS demonstrating the taking of a buccal swab at the 3rd National Forensic Services Conference held in 2015.

JOHANNESBURG – Members of Parliament have heard thousands of detectives have already been trained to take the forensic samples [buccal swabs] that will go towards building a national DNA database.

Lieutenant General Kgomotso Phahlane has briefed Parliament’s Police Portfolio Committee on the implementation of the so-called DNA Act that came into operation in January.

“Our target was to make sure that 5,500 people were trained by the end of March and 5,456 have been trained.”

The Criminal Law Amendment Act provides for a DNA database that will help identify the perpetrators of unsolved crimes, prove the innocence or guilt of accused persons and help find missing people.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

SOURCE: This article was first published by Eyewitness News on 12 May 2015

Angels’ Care Rape Crisis Centre

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The DNA Project is very pleased and fortunate to be a beneficiary of Blow the Whistle and thanks to their amazing and generous contribution of funds raised through the sale of their whistles, Vanessa has chosen to donate a portion of this year’s proceeds to help support the establishment and equipping of a new rape crisis centre in Howick, KZN.

The Angels’ Care Rape Crisis Centre, which is currently under construction, is being spearheaded by one of our Directors, Carolyn Hancock, and aims to assist child victims of sexual abuse from informal settlements around the uMngeni municipal area.

The Crisis Centre will provide access to all the necessary social, medical and legal services to ensure that a child not only receives care and timely assistance in a single location, but through medical and psycho-social healing, it will restore dignity to these children and provide a mechanism whereby a case can be followed through to the point where the perpetrator is more likely to be identified and ultimately convicted.

Carolyn explains that although there are many reasons that child rape incidents go unreported, one of the primary reasons is the fact that many survivors, particularly children, lack access to services and support. In the cases where children do have access, a proper statement is often not obtained from the victim, and crucial evidence is not collected timeously. As a result of this, possible convictions of child rapists often fall through leading to the crime going unpunished; which is where the Crisis Centre will step in to help.

She is hopeful that in the same way as the government has set up Thutuzela Centres in certain hospitals nationwide that provide a holistic service to victims of sexual abuse, the rape crisis centre at Angels’ Care Centre could be the first of many centres operated by South African non-profit organisations that have good working relationships with all the relevant governmental stakeholders. Such centres could not only monitor levels of abuse in more rural communities, but also ensure that vital forensic evidence is actually collected and used to ensure the identification and conviction of offenders, and bring about emotional healing to survivors.

In addition to providing much needed equipment, The DNA Project will also run a track and trace programme which will monitor the progress of each case received from date of collection of the DNA evidence to its presentation in court; the purpose of which will be to ensure that evidence collected results in convictions, and if not, to identify problem areas as to why cases do not make it to court.

Hand-in-hand with this project is a research project which will look into more effective DNA evidence collection methods in relation to children, which historically have a very low yield rate.

The building, which will likely be completed this week (1 April), will consist of a reception area, a consulting room for the SAPS/NPA, a consulting room for the social worker/counsellor, a medical examination room, bathroom facilities and even a bedroom where the children may rest if needed.

The Angels’ Care Centre itself is only situated a few metres away from a government clinic and directly opposite the Howick SAPS Station and works closely with the SAPS, Department of Health, Department of Social Development and the Department of Justice/NPA.

The Crisis Centre is aiming to officially open its doors on 1 July of this year.

To learn more about the Angels’ Care Centre, please visit their website www.angelscare.co.za or follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/angelscarecentre.

We wish to extend a very big thank you to everyone who has supported the Blow the Whistle campaign this year and for helping to aid us in supporting this inspiring initiative.

SAPS Forensic Services: Available Posts – November 2014

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

New posts within the South African Police Service (SAPS) Forensic Services Division, under the SAPS Act (employment as a police official), have been added to their website and are currently being advertised for November 2014 – http://www.saps.gov.za/careers/careers.php.

Please Note: Police officials are employed in terms of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995).

CLOSING DATE for all applications: 21 November 2014

POLICE ACT POSTS

Click here to read the application process in terms of the SAPS Act.

Please download the full advertisement for all the new SAPS Act posts, including full requirements, core responsibilities, salary level and how to apply (PDF).

Download the official application form from the SAPS website.

The following posts are available:

1. Post: Personnel Practitioner (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Employee Health and Wellness
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management (1 Post) (Ref FS 126/2014)
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng

2. Post: Provisioning Administration Officer (Warrant Officer)
Sub Section: Supply Chain Management: Demand and Acquisition
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Location of the post:

  • Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 127/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: King Williams Town: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 128/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Bloemfontein: Free State (1 Post) (Ref FS 129/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 130/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Potchefstroom: North West (1 Post) (Ref FS 131/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Kimberley: Northern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 132/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 133/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Polokwane: Limpopo (1 Post) (Ref FS 134/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Amazimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 135/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Plattekloof: Western Cape: (1 Post) (Ref FS 136/2014)

3. Post: Provisioning Administration Officer (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Supply Chain Management: Vehicle Fleet Management
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Location of the post:

  • Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management National Office: Pretoria (2 Posts)(Ref FS 137/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Bloemfontein: Free State (1 Post) (Ref FS 138/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Johannesburg: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 139/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Polokwane: Limpopo (1 Post) (Ref FS 140/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 141/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 142/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 143/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Amanzimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 144/2014)

4. Post: Provisioning Administration Officer (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Supply Chain Management: Moveable Government Property
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Location of the post:

  • Provincial CR & CSM: Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 145/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: National Office Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 146/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Amanzimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 147/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Plattekloof: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 148/2014)

5. Post: Provisioning Administration Officer (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Supply Chain Management: Facility Management
Section: Nodal Support Centre: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post:

  • Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 149/2014)
  • Amanzimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 150/2014)

6. Post: State Accountant (Warrant Officer)
Sub Section: Finance and Administration Services
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Location of the post:

  • Provincial CR & CSM: Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 151/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Bloemfontein: Free State (1 Post) (Ref FS 152/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 153/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Amazimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post)(Ref FS 154/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Plattekloof: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 155/2014)

7. Post: State Accountant (Warrant Officer)
Sub Section: Finance and Administration Services
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 156/2014)

8. Post: State Accountant (Warrant Officer)
Sub Section: Finance and Administration Services (Bookkeeping)
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 157/2014)

9. Post: Personnel Practitioner (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Human Resource Management
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Location of the post:

  • Provincial CR & CSM: Bloemfontein: Free State (1 Post) (Ref FS 158/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 159/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Middelburg: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 160/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: King Williamstown: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 161/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 162/2014)
  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Amanzimtoti: KwaZulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 163/2014)

10. Post: Personnel Practitioner (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Employee Relations
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Provincial CR & CSM: Polokwane: Limpopo (1 Post) (Ref FS 164/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Johannesburg: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 165/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 166/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Middelburg: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 167/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 168/2014)

11. Post: Warrant Officer
Section: Record Tracing: Local Criminal Record Centre:
Component: Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Protea Glen: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 169/2014)
  • Springs: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 170/2014)
  • Vereeniging: Gauteng: (1 Post) (Ref FS 171/2014)
  • Johannesburg: Gauteng: (1 Post) (Ref FS 172/2014)
  • Krugersdorp: Gauteng: (1 Post) (Ref FS 173/2014)
  • Ga-Rankuwa: Gauteng: (1 Post) (Ref FS 174/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Gauteng: (1 Post) (Ref FS 175/2014)

12. Post: Warrant Officer
Section: Adjudication: Local Criminal Record Centre:
Component: Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Kempton Park: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 176/2014)
  • Lyttelton: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 177/2014)
  • Germiston: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 178/2014)
  • Pretoria North: Gauteng (1Post) (Ref FS 179/2014)
  • Sandton: Gauteng (1Post) (Ref FS 180/2014)
  • Protea-Glen: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 181/2014)
  • Springs: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 182/2014)
  • Vereeniging: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 183/2014)
  • Johannesburg: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 184/2014)
  • Krugersdorp: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 185/2014)
  • Ga-Rankuwa: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 186/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 187/2014)

13. Post: Warrant Officer
Section: Crime Scene Investigation
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 188/2014)
  • Mount Road: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 189/2014)
  • Provincial Task Team: Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 190/2014)
  • Vryburg: North West (1 Post) (Ref FS 191/2014)
  • Brits: North West (1 Post) (Ref FS 192/2014)
  • Potchefstroom: North West (1 Post) (Ref FS 193/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Kimberley: Northern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 194/2014)
  • Kimberley (Hartswater LCRC Service Point): Northern Cape (1Post) (Ref FS 195/2014)
  • Upington (Kakamas LCRC Service Point): Northern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 196/2014)
  • George: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 197/2014)
  • Mitchells Plain: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 198/2014)
  • Bellville: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 199/2014)
  • Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 200/2014)
  • Lebowakgomo (Burgersfort LCRC Service Point): Limpopo (2 Posts) (Ref FS 201/2014)
  • Musina (Tshamutumbu LCRC Service Point): Limpopo (1 Post) (Ref FS 202/2014)
  • Acornhoek: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 203/2014)
  • Nelspruit: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 204/2014)
  • Provincial CR & CSM: Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 205/2014)

14. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)
Section: Crime Scene Laboratories
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Bloemfontein: Free State (1 Post) (Ref FS 206/2014)
  • Mtubatuba: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 207/2014)
  • Middelburg: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 208/2014)
  • Witbank: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 209/2014)

15. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Forensic Anthropology
Section: Victim Identification Centre
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 210/2014)

16. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Handwriting Analysis
Section: Questioned Documents
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Amanzimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 211/2014)

17. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)
Sub Section: Image Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Plattekloof: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 212/2014)

18. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)
Sub Section: Mechanical Engineering
Section: Ballistics
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Plattekloof: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 213/2014)

19. Post: Warrant Officer (Forensic Analyst)
Component: Quality Management
Section: Quality Assurance
Sub-Section/ Location of the post:

  • Chemistry: Amanzimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal [1 post] (Ref FS 214/2014)
  • Victim Identification Centre: Pretoria: Gauteng [1 post] (Ref FS 215/2014)
  • Scientific Analysis: Plattekloof: Western Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 216/2014)
  • Scientific Analysis: Pretoria: Gauteng [1 post] (Ref FS 217/2014)
  • Questioned Documents: Amanzimtoti: KwaZulu-Natal [1 post] (Ref FS 218/2014)
  • Questioned Documents: Pretoria: Gauteng [1 post] (Ref FS 219/2014)

20. Post: Warrant Officer (Forensic Analyst)
Component: Quality Management
Section: Technical Management: Forensic Science Laboratory
Sub-Section:

  • Biology: Pretoria: Gauteng [1 post] (Ref FS 220/2014)
  • Regional Laboratory: Plattekloof: Western Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 221/2014)
  • Chemistry: Plattekloof: Western Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 222/2014)

21. Post: Warrant Officer (Forensic Analyst)
Component: Quality Management
Section: Regional Quality Management: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: LCRC: Quality Control
Location of Post:

  • Cape Town: Western Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 223/2014)
  • King Williams Town: Eastern Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 224/2014)
  • Durban: Kwazulu-Natal [1 post] (Ref FS 225/2014)
  • Kimberley: Northern Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 226/2014)
  • Potchefstroom: North West [1 post] (Ref FS 227/2014)
  • Middelburg: Mpumalanga [1 post] (Ref FS 228/2014)
  • Polokwane: Limpopo [1 post] (Ref FS 229/2014)
  • Bloemfontein: Free State [1 post] (Ref FS 230/2014)
  • Johannesburg: Gauteng [1 post] (Ref FS 231/2014)

22. Post: Warrant Officer (Forensic Analyst)
Component: Quality Management
Section: Regional Quality Management: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: LCRC: Quality Assurance
Location of Post:

  • Cape Town: Western Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 232/2014)
  • King Williams Town: Eastern Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 233/2014)
  • Durban: Kwazulu-Natal [1 post] (Ref FS 234/2014)
  • Kimberley: Northern Cape [1 post] (Ref FS 235/2014)
  • Potchefstroom: North West [1 post] (Ref FS 236/2014)
  • Middelburg: Mpumalanga [1 post] (Ref FS 237/2014)
  • Polokwane: Limpopo [1 post] (Ref FS 238/2014)
  • Bloemfontein: Free State [1 post] (Ref FS 239/2014)
  • Johannesburg: Gauteng [1 post] (Ref FS 240/2014)

GENERAL:

  • Only the official application form (available on the SAPS website and at SAPS recruitment offices) will be accepted. The Z83 previously utilized will no longer be accepted. All instructions on the application form must be adhered to and previous criminal convictions must be declared. Failure to do so may result in the rejection of the application.
  • The post particulars and reference number of the post must be correctly specified on the application form. A separate application form must be completed for each post.
  • Persons who retired from the Public Service by taking a severance package, early retirement or for medical reasons, as well as persons with previous convictions, are excluded.
  • A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae must be submitted together with the application form.
  • Certified copies (certification preferably by Police Officers) of an applicant’s ID document, motor vehicle driver’s license (Police Act appointments), Senior Certificate and all educational qualifications obtained together with academic records (statement of results) thereof and service certificates of previous employers stating the occupation and the period, must also be submitted and attached to every application. The copies must be correctly certified on the copy itself, not at the back. The certification must not be older than three months.
  • APPLICANTS ARE REQUESTED TO INITIAL EACH AND EVERY PAGE OF THE APPLICATION FORM, CV INCLUDING ALL ANNEXURES.
  • All qualifications and driver’s licenses submitted will be subjected to verification checking with the relevant institutions. The South African Police Service will conduct reference checks.
  • The closing date for the applications is 2014-11-21. Applications must be mailed timeously. Late applications will not be accepted or considered.
  • Appointments will be made in terms of the SAPS Act or Public Service Act as applicable to the post environment.
  • If a candidate is short-listed, it can be expected of him/her to undergo a personal interview.
  • Successful applicants to be appointed in terms of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act no 68 of 1995) and not yet applicants appointed in terms of the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act no 68 of 1995) will have to undergo a medical examination and found to be medically fit. They will further have to comply with the prescripts on the SAPS Dress Order, whereby tattoos may not be visible when wearing uniform, must be willing to undergo the prescribed Introductory Police Development Learning Programme and are expected to work flexi hours or shifts in the execution of their duties.
  • Short-listed candidates for appointment to certain identified posts, will be vetted in terms of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007 (Act No 32 of 2007) and the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No 38 of 2005). A candidate, whose particulars appear in either the National Register for Sex Offenders or Part B of the Child Protection Register, will be disqualified from appointment to that post.
  • All short-listed candidates will be subjected to fingerprint screening.
  • Correspondence will be conducted with successful candidates only. If you have not been contacted within three (3) months after the closing date of this advertisement, please accept that your application was unsuccessful.
  • The South African Police Service is under no obligation to fill a post after the advertisement thereof.
  • The South African Police Service is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and it is the intention to promote representivity in the Public Service through the filling of these posts. Persons whose transfer/appointment/promotion will promote representivity will therefore receive preference.

Applications and enquiries can be directed to:
Lt Colonel Klopper / Lieutenant Moonsamy
Tel: (012) 421-0194
Tel: (012) 421-0584

Postal Address:
Private Bag X 322
PRETORIA
0001

Hand Delivery:
Cnr Beckett and Pretorius Street
Strelitzia Building
Arcadia
0083

ISHI25 – International Symposium on Human Identification 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The annual International Symposium on Human Identification (ISHI) conference, which is being held in Phoenix, Arizona in the US from Sept 29 – Oct 2, 2014, is an event that the DNA Project is very excited about as our founder Vanessa Lynch joins this year’s lineup of invited guest speakers.

The ISHI is an annual international conference for the DNA forensic community that provides the opportunity to learn, share and network amongst industry peers and experts.

Vanessa’s presentation on the 1st of October entitled “The DNA Project: The Crusade to Bring a National Forensic DNA Database to Fight Crime in South Africa” will include discussing the challenges in campaigning to pass the DNA Act in South Africa, some of its salient provisions and how she plans to continue to campaign for its effective implementation in conjunction with a national crime scene awareness programme driven by the DNA Project.

A map outlining the various delegates' hometowns.

Delegates from across the globe will be in attendance to listen to a wide range of topics presented by expert speakers across the 3-day conference. Topics such as:

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2

We hope to provide our followers with updates on all the happenings at the conference via Facebook and Twitter… so keep a watchful eye out!

We wish Vanessa a wonderful trip and the very best with her presentation =)

To learn more about the ISHI conference, please visit their website: http://ishinews.com/

Change a Life Masquerade Cycle Tour 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

The Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust, launched by Computershare in 2008, is one of the DNA Project’s most generous sponsors which is dedicated to a peaceful future for all South Africans.

Change a Life’s primary fundraiser is an annual Change a Life Cycle Tour and the 2014 Masquerade Cycle Tour, scheduled to take place from 13 to 18 September, promises to be one of their most dramatic tours yet.

In keeping with the exclusive luxury and pampering our high profile executive cyclists have become accustomed to, the 2014 tour is designed around the fabulous Rovos Rail – rated one of the world’s top 25 trains – which will provide quality accommodation and transport between the stages.

Without giving too much away, Change a Life confirms that the four day 500 km cycle tour starting in the beautiful Western Cape will more than fulfil their participants’ expectations of an extreme challenge, while the après cycle experiences will be filled with all the drama and intrigue of a masquerade ball.

We wish all of the participants a wonderful and enjoyable ride!

SA forensics: A bloody mess?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The following article by Rebecca Davis was first published by the Daily Maverick on 14 August 2014.

Forensic expert Dr David Klatzow has been one of the most vocal and consistent critics of South African police handling of crime scenes and evidence. Speaking on Wednesday about his new book, ‘Justice Denied’, Klatzow wasn’t mincing his words about the quality of local forensic investigations.

One of the DNA Project's "Don't disturb a crime scene" social media messages launched during the Oscar Pistorius Trial

David Klatzow has a simple message for anyone accused of a crime in South Africa: don’t expect to get a fair ride.

“I’ve written a book about this because it seems to me that we have a problem in this country, ” Klatzow told an audience at the Cape Town Press Club on Wednesday. He said that there is a justifiable expectation that the state, with its powerful resources, should be able to handle the processing and interpretation of forensic evidence correctly: “One would expect the state to get it right.”

But the reality, Klatzow says, is often depressingly different. He cited the example of Fred van der Vyfer, charged with the murder of his girlfriend Inge Lotz in 2005. Van der Vyfer was ultimately acquitted with the aid of Klatzow, who was hired by the accused’s family to look into the forensic evidence which the state claimed fingered van der Vyfer.

Though questions continue to swirl around who killed Lotz, if not Van der Vyfer, Klatzow remains adamant that “there is not a shred of evidence that proved he did it”. But he says it is frightening to consider what could have happened if van der Vyfer had not been from a wealthy family.

“Fred, had he not had the resources to throw R9 million at the case, would be sitting in Pollsmoor Prison,” Klatzow says, despite the fact that the state’s case against him was “nothing but smoke and mirrors”.

Van der Vyfer’s case is one of a number that Klatzow cites to support his assertion that “dishonesty and incompetence” characterise many police investigations in this country. But the silver lining – if you can call it that – is that this is not a South Africa-specific problem. Klatzow says that in the course of researching his new book, Justice Denied, one thing became apparent: “We are not alone in this deplorable situation”.

Convictions of innocent people based on inaccurate or fraudulent evidence given by police forensic experts has a long history internationally. One example Klatzow gives is that of Dr Hawley Crippen, who was hanged for the murder of his wife in 1910: one of Edwardian London’s most sensational cases.

After the disappearance of Crippen’s wife Cora, Dr Crippen claimed she had returned to America. But there were a number of things that didn’t look good for Crippen. For one, he ran off with his attractive young secretary. For another, when police searched his house for the fourth time, they found human remains buried under the brick floor of his basement. The pathologist used by the prosecution, Dr Bernard Spilsbury, testified that a piece of skin revealed an abdominal scar which was consistent with Cora’s medical history. Crippen was duly found guilty of the murder of his wife and hanged.

In 2007, however, the tissue slides used by Spilsbury were re-examined and DNA extracted from them. These tests reportedly established that the body parts were those of a man.

“On the say-so of a dogmatic pathologist, Crippen went to the gallows for a murder he did not commit,” Klatzow says. “I kick off the book with that because nothing’s changed.” (It should be noted that the idea that Crippen was innocent remains controversial.)

During Apartheid, Klatzow says, police would often produce versions of events after police shootings which were clearly incompatible with the evidence. He recalled the case of the Gugulethu Seven, a group of Umkhonto weSizwe members killed by police in 1986. Klatzow’s investigation showed that contrary to police evidence, the men had been shot at close range. One policeman claimed he had shot one man while the man was “running forwards, right to left”.

“Then why are all the bullet holes in his right hand side?” Klatzow asked.

Apartheid may be over, but Klatzow says that police incompetence and wilful deception in crime scene investigations endure. He calls the aftermath of the killing of mining magnate Brett Kebble “the worst-handled crime scene” he has encountered, saying police wanted to valet Kebble’s car before evidence had been extracted from it.

Klatzow has harsh words, too, for the handling of the Oscar Pistorius crime scene. First policeman Hilton Botha was allowed to walk all over it, he says. Then a policeman handled the gun without gloves – and when alerted to this, wiped it clean and puts it down again. A bullet fragment in the toilet bowl was missed. And to top it all off, Pistorius’ watches were stolen.

“This is handed out as the best our police can do,” Klatzow said. He added that if Pistorius were to be convicted, it would be in spite of the police work on the case, not because of it.

Klatzow also hit out at the state’s forensic laboratories, saying it could still take two years to get a blood sample back, and up to eight years for toxicology results.

“If you have a spouse to knock off, now’s the time to do it,” he said. “And do it with poison.”

But not everyone agrees that the picture is as negative as Klatzow makes out.

“I reckon that there are issues, but I like to be constructive,” Vanessa Lynch, the founder of South Africa’s DNA Project, told the Daily Maverick on Wednesday. She points out that when it comes to old cases, police could only rely on the forensic evidence available at the time.

“In the past, hair shaft analysis was considered to be cutting edge,” Lynch says. “It’s subsequently been recognised that it’s an inexact science. As we’re exposed to more and more forensic processes, we are able to get closer to the truth.”

Lynch acknowledged that substantial challenges remain, but she maintains that forensic evidence – and particularly DNA – is one of the firmest forms of criminal evidence in existence (as opposed to, say, eye-witness testimony). While the Pistorius case was dominating headlines, the DNA Project attempted to use it as a way of educating the public about the need to keep crime scenes undisturbed. “When you don’t disturb a crime scene, forensic evidence has the power to determine exactly what happened,” the DNA Project’s website instructed.

One of the DNA Project’s major initiatives over the past years has been to campaign for the establishment of a database of DNA to be used by police in the investigation of crimes. They succeeded: in January this year the DNA Act was passed. When fully implemented, it will require police to take DNA samples from criminal suspects arrested for serious offences, as well as parolees and convicted offenders. These will be entered into a database and DNA collected from crime scenes will then be compared.

When the act was promulgated, skepticism was expressed as to whether it will ever be effectively implemented – including from Klatzow. Lynch says there have been delays, but “things are moving in the right direction”.

Police still need to be trained to take DNA swabs, and the members of the National Forensics Oversight and Ethics Board appointed. This latter step is crucial, she says, because its members will be ensuring that the act is not a “paper tiger”. But applications for board membership closed in March, and its members have still not been announced.

“Despite that, there’s still movement,” Lynch says. She says the Cape Town forensics lab has set up the necessary systems already to be able to process DNA samples when they start arriving. “The back-end stuff is happening.”

Lynch has a parting shot for critics of South Africa’s forensic work. “At least we have a forensic infrastructure,” she says. “It may require tweaking, but that’s a helluva lot more than some places.” DM

#OscarTrial

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

WHEN YOU DON’T DISTURB A CRIME SCENE, FORENSIC EVIDENCE HAS THE POWER TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED.

Click on the image to view larger version at http://dnaproject.co.za/oscartrial/


1st issue of our new newsletter

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Welcome to the 1st issue of our new regular newsletter for 2014 😀

Following the success of our annual newsletter towards the end of 2013, we’ve decided to include it on a more permanent basis as a regular feature, which we plan to release every couple of months, to further compliment our website and social media network.

April 2014 newsletter

This additional platform will grant us the opportunity to share with you a round-up of some of the key DNA Project happenings as well as highlight various noteworthy items and topics of interest such as past or upcoming events and workshops, media press articles, and even strange and interesting facts and cases relating to the world of DNA and forensics.

As always, we thank you for your continued support of the DNA Project and hope you will enjoy this jam-packed 1st issue and look forward to our the next issue, which will be available towards the end of June/early July.

Download our April 2014 newsletter (PDF)