Archive for the ‘Forensic Career’ Category

 

SAPS Forensic Services: Available Posts – March 2015

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

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 March 2015 – 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: 13 March 2015

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: Colonel
Section Commander: Investigative Support
Section: Investigative Psychology
Component: Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 241/2014)

2. Post: Major
Commander: Permits and Licences: Explosives Control
Section: Explosives
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 242/2014)

3. Post: Major
Commander: Technical Support: Bomb Disposal
Section: Explosives
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 243/2014)

4. Post: Major
Commander: Explosives Control
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Provincial Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: King Williamstown: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 244/2014)
  • Provincial Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Bloemfontein: Free State: (1 Post) (Ref FS 245/2014)

5. Post: Major
Commander: Explosives Unit
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Germiston: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 246/2014)
  • Pietermaritzburg: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 247/2014)

6. Post: Major
Commander: Crime Scene Laboratories
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Provincial Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: King Williamstown: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 248/2014)

7. Post: Major
Commander: Technical Management
Section: Regional Quality Management
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Plattekloof: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 249/2014)

8. Post: Chief Forensic Analyst (Major)
Section: Regional Quality Management
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Amazimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 250/2014)

9. Post: Chief Forensic Analyst (Major)
Commander: Technical Management: Scientific Analysis
Section: Technical Management
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 251/2014)

10. Post: Chief Forensic Analyst (Major)
Sub Section Commander: Profiling Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Gauteng: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 252/2014)

11. Post: Lieutenant
Sub-Section: Criminal Profiling Centre
Section: Centralized CRC
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Pretoria: National Office (1 Post) (Ref FS 253/2014)

12. Post: Lieutenant
Sub-Section: Bomb Disposal
Section: Explosives
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Cape Town: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 254/2014)

13. Post: Senior State Accountant (Lieutenant)
Sub Section: Bookkeeping: Finance and Administration Services
Section: Nodal Support Centre
Location of the post:

  • Forensic Science Laboratory: Amanzimtoti: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 255/2014)
  • Provincial Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 256/2014)
  • Provincial Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Cape Town: Western Cape (1Post) (Ref FS 257/2014)

14. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Sub Section: Specialized Identification Services: Data Collection
Section: Post Mortem Facilitation
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 258/2014)

15. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Sub Section: Case Management
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 259/2014)

16. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Sub Section: Case Review
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 260/2014)

17. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Sub Section: Environmental Compliance: Regional Laboratory
Section: Quality Management: Forensic Science Laboratory
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 261/2014)

18. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Sub Section: Quality Assurance: Explosives
Section: Quality Management: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 262/2014)

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 all previous/pending criminal/disciplinary 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.
  • 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 the academic record (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. All qualifications and driver’s licenses submitted will be subjected to verification checking with the relevant institutions.
  • CANDIDATES ARE REQUESTED TO INITIAL EACH AND EVERY PAGE OF THE APPLICATION FORM, CV AND ALL ANNEXURES.
  • The closing date for the applications is 2015-03-13. 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 applicants not yet 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.
  • The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, Act 37 of 2013 requires that all new recruits (appointments) in the South African Police Service as from 31st of January 2015 provide a buccal sample in order to determine their forensic DNA profile. The forensic DNA profile derived from the sample will be loaded to the National Forensic DNA Database.
  • The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, Act 37 of 2013 requires that all new recruits (appointments) in the South African Police Service as from 31st of January 2015 provide a buccal sample in order to determine their forensic DNA profile. The forensic DNA profile derived from the sample will be loaded to the National Forensic DNA Database.
  • 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. Candidates will be subjected to a vetting process which will include security screening and fingerprint verification.
  • 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 / Lt 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

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

What is Forensic Toxicology?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The field of forensic science has come a long way – this is particularly true in the area of forensic toxicology, which is both fascinating and important for many applications. Forensic toxicology deals with the investigation of toxic substances, environmental chemicals or poisonous products. If you have ever been asked to take a drug test for work or you know someone who has, then you are already familiar with one of the applications of forensic toxicology. The toxicology part refers to the methods used to study these substances. Forensic toxicology is actually a bit of a mix of many other scientific disciplines such as chemistry, pathology and biochemistry. It also shares ties with some of the environmental sciences.

Using Forensic Toxicology Today

Forensic toxicologists perform toxicology screens, which involve looking for unusual chemicals in the body.

Currently, this area of forensics has evolved to mean the study of illegal drugs and legal ones such as alcohol. Forensic toxicology can even identify poisons and hazardous chemicals. The chemical makeup of each substance is studied and they are also identified from different sources such as urine or hair. Forensic toxicology deals with the way that substances are absorbed, distributed or eliminated in the body – the metabolism of substances. When learning about drugs and how they act in the body, forensic toxicology will study where the drug affects the body and how this occurs.

Obtaining Samples for Toxicology Testing

Before toxicology testing can go forward, samples need to be taken. You might be surprised to know just how many parts of your body can produce samples that are effective for identifying drugs. One example is urine, which is commonly used in forensic toxicology. It’s an easy sample to obtain and relatively rapid and non-invasive. It can show substances even several weeks after their ingestion. One example would be the drug marijuana, which can be detected even two weeks following use of the drug. When a urine sample is taken, however, there are sometimes rules and regulations around how the sample is collected. If the testing was related to workplace drug testing, a person could substitute a sample from someone else that would then show a negative result. For this reason, there are sometimes parameters around reasonable supervision when a person has to provide a urine sample.

Blood samples are another body sample used for forensic toxicology. A huge range of toxic substances can be tested from a blood sample. You may already be familiar with blood alcohol testing used to assess if a person was driving under the influence of alcohol. This type of testing is important in assessing if a driver is above the legal limit and it is also used to prove a case in court.

Hair samples are a good way to test for substance abuse that has occurred over the long-term. After a person ingests a chemical, it ends up in the hair, where it can provide forensic toxicologists with an estimate of the intensity and duration of drug use. Hair testing is even offered quite widely by companies that allow you to mail in a hair sample and check off the drugs you want checked. Saliva is another way that forensic toxicologists can test for drugs. It does, however, depend on the drug in terms of identifying its concentration. One of the more unusual sounding but interesting ways that the human body can be used for forensic toxicology involves the gastric contents in a deceased person. During the autopsy, a sample of the person’s gastric contents can be analysed, which then allows the forensic toxicologist to assess if the person took any pills or liquids before their death. The brain, liver and spleen can even be used during toxicology testing.

Forensic Toxicology Applications

While there are many uses for forensic toxicology testing, the most familiar one to most people is likely to be drug and alcohol testing. This type of testing is commonly performed in the transportation industry and in workplaces. Another use is for drug overdoses, whether these are intended or accidental. People who drive with a blood alcohol concentration over the accepted legal limit can also be assessed through toxicology testing. Another application of forensic toxicology relates to sexual assault that involves the use of drugs. Various drugs are used today for the purposes of rendering the victim unable to fight the attacker, who then proceeds to sexually assault the victim. Through toxicology testing, a victim can find out what drug was given and can then be treated accordingly.

There are a lot of substances and poisons in our world – many of which impact how we function in work and society. For some people, these substances can influence their death. Fortunately, forensic toxicology testing allows forensic scientists to identify substances and determine a pattern of use. In this way, a forensic toxicologist can provide closure on the ‘what if’ of a person’s drug habits or perhaps some mystery surrounding their death.

This article first appeared on Explore Forensics on the 4th of September 2014 and was authored by Ian Murnaghan – BSc (hons), MSc.

#WomenInHealth: an interview with Senior Forensic Pathologist, Dr Linda Liebenberg

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Lodox interviews forensic pathologist Dr Linda Liebenberg as part of their #WomenInHealth series commemorating the work of South African female health-care professionals, with the aim of inspiring more young women to join the sciences and health-care professions, and was first published online by Stef Steiner on 1 September 2014.

Dr Linda Liebenberg - “This is not a day job, it’s a profession. There is always more to be done.”

Dr Liebenberg aptly describes her typical day-at-the-office as both “mad and deadly”.

Qualified with an MBChB degree in Forensic Medicine and a masters degree in Forensic Pathology, Linda has spent 14 years studying to reach her current joint appointment as Senior Forensic Pathologist at the Western Cape Department of Health and as an academic lecturer at the University of Cape Town. Dr Liebenberg gained her qualifications from the schools of Medicine at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town.

What does a typical day look like for you? What do you do in your work hours?

My work at the Department of Health is spread over service delivery: completing forensic autopsies; compiling reports for court; testifying in court; police consultation and visiting crime sites.  I teach both under-graduate and post-graduate students at the University of Cape Town, and conduct ongoing research.

What attracted you to the work you do? Why did you enter this field?

My first attraction was to Anatomical Pathology and when I stumbled into Forensic Pathology, I was hooked. Apart from medicine, it combines a large number of disciplines, as well as practical application. Through forensic pathology I have and can gain knowledge of a human before they are born, and long after their death.

Who inspires you? Who is your hero?

I am inspired by the rare case that actually works out, and being able to give a family clarity on how a family member died.

My hero is any police officer who does their job despite the challenges and who is still dedicated to their jobs 100%. Committed police work inspires me.

What was your biggest challenge to getting to where you are today in your career?

My biggest challenge was realizing the number of hours, years and the amount of money I have had to put into training. This continues to be a challenge to me as a professional.

What do you think is the biggest health challenge in Africa?

Drugs, alcohol, malnutrition, as well as a lack of both facilities and health-care professionals. Our systems cannot accommodate the current need. There is an imbalance between supply and demand. We have a reckless society characterized by road accidents and domestic violence, which takes up billions [of rands] of government money which could be used to help prevent disease and find cures.

What motivates you and keeps you going/striving for more?

I am faced with something interesting, daily, I’m never bored. I strive for getting the answers right.

Do you have any advice for young women entering a career in medicine?

You can do it!

When I started medicine, in my first year, a lot of people kept asking me what I will do in my second year.  I proved to them that I am capable!

Also, it’s important to remember that medicine is not the glamour that you see on television.

What do you do for fun or to de-stress?

I garden, read a lot and watch forensic television series like ‘Body of Proof’.

Read up more on the work of Dr Liebenberg and her colleagues at the Salt River Morgue: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-05-01-tales-from-the-morgue

Forensic Meteorologists Solve Crimes You’ve Never Thought About

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The fascinating world of forensic science has a wide array of disciplines which are often called upon to help solve a crime. One such discipline you may not have thought existed is that of Forensic Meteorology.

The following is an interesting article published by Mika McKinnon on space.io9.com (12 August 2014) which takes a close look at how meteorology can be utilised in an investigation.

Forensic meteorology is the science of using historic weather records, atmospheric data, eyewitness accounts, and reenactment simulations to determine the weather conditions at a specific time and location.

A forensic meteorologists’s analysis might be to corroborate or invalidate an alibi, provide context for an accident, or even to determine if the conditions could have been reasonably anticipated or were a freak chance event.

A storm washed this car off the road and down the mountains in San Bernadino. Who is responsible: the storm, the road, the tires, or the driver? Image credit: AP/Nick Ut

It’s very BBC Sherlock to contemplate using the weather to solve crimes. In the opening case of the first episode, Sherlock pairs observations of asymmetrical mud splatter and a lack of umbrella with local weather reports to deduce a victim’s probable activities before the murder. While real-life forensic meteorology lacks the thrilling pacing and distinctive visual style of Sherlock, it is a real field of science used for everything from murder trials to insurance claims.

Forensic meteorology has been used in all sorts of circumstances. While writing for Physics Today, Elizabeth Austin and Peter Hildebrand tracked down a slew of court cases where a meteorologist was employed as an expert witness, including: murders, suicides, bombings, vehicle accidents, traffic accidents, skiing accidents, bad aircraft landings, kitesurfing accidents, agricultural disputes, property insurance disputes, building collapses, people slipping and falling, fires, and as a defence for stealing, looting, or trespassing. The range of weather involved in this cases can be equally as diverse — rain, snow, ice, tornadoes, hurricanes, air pollution, drought, floods, microbursts and epic storms can all lead to situations where a meteorologist takes the stand to carefully explain what the weather conditions were and how it impacted the environment.

One of the first instances of involving weather in the process of law was in the late 1800s, after a minister organized a community prayer for rain during a severe drought. Within the hour, a storm rolled in, dumping just under 2 inches of rain, washing out a bridge, and burning down a barn with a lightning strike. The barn’s owner had been the only objector to the prayer, having declared that humans had no place to meddle in the affairs of nature. Seeing the loss of his barn as vindication for his belief, he sued the minister to replace his barn. The minister fought back, his counsel arguing that while they’d asked for rain, the lightning was a “a gratuitous gift of God.” The court agreed, dismissing the claim.

The relative frequency of particular weather events is a common theme in civil cases. Did a city adequately anticipate normal severe rainfall when designing their sewer system and were overwhelmed by an unpredictable freak event, or did they underestimate the predictable pattern of storms and fail to build an adequate system? When a roof collapses under the weight of piled snow, was it a failure of engineering to build for the expected environment, or was the roof adequate and the snowfall far above any reasonable expectation? A forensic meteorologist’s analysis of the relative rarity of specific high-impact events can be pivotal testimony in determining fault during the subsequent insurance and building disputes.

Not every expert’s testimony influences the case’s outcome. A driver was hit by a piece of falling ice while crossing a bridge, with the fragment breaking his windshield and hitting him in the eye. He claimed the ice was part of an icicle breaking free of the bridge, while the local transportation authority claimed the ice must have been flung off a passing truck. The forensic meteorologist testified that ice from a truck while be opaque, while an icicle growing on the bridge would be clear. An eyewitness said the ice was clear, leading the meteorologist to support the driver’s accusation. Despite this, the jury found in favour of the bridge, concluding that a truck was responsible for flinging ice.

Like any other expert witness, a forensic meteorologist in the United States is bound by the Federal Rules of Evidence, specifically by Rule 702:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

(a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;

(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and

(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

The first requirement is that a meteorologist is actually a meteorologist. While technically this is an unlicensed profession so anyone can work as a meteorologist, most who get called to the stand have voluntarily submitted to certification from their professional organization.

From there, the rule requires that meteorology is relevant to the case, that the analysis is based on reality, that their analysis uses logical processes, and that the expert is sufficiently objective to let their analysis determine their conclusions irrelevant of the human context. That last bit can be difficult: a forensic meteorologist’s interpretations and professional opinions must be guided by facts, not by their personal opinions or sympathies.

A perfect example of this is an ongoing legal dispute stemming from a mess of a storm in 2011. On April 27th, cold, dry air coming south from Canada smashed into warm, moist air surging north from the Gulf of Mexico. A jet stream flowing north-east made the whole situation worse, swirling colliding air masses into into supercells. The first wave hit in the morning, thunderstorms and tornadoes crossing the southeastern United States; the second wave hit hours later. Seven states were impacted, with Alabama baring the brunt of the damage. After the storms died off, the insurance companies and property owners were left trying to determine which damage was caused by the straight-on winds of thunderstorms, and which was caused by the rotating winds of a tornado.

Over three years later, it’s still To Be Determined, with forensic meteorologists using digital weather radar, surface weather observations, and reports to determine the timing, extent, duration, and strength of events, and, from that, the nature of the damaging winds. As insurance policies can easily cover one type of damage but not the other, the outcome of the meteorologists’ analysis will have a massive economic impact on the storms’ survivors. For their sake, I dearly hope the meteorologists involved in these cases have no idea which insurance policies cover what damage for which homeowners, leaving them free to do their jobs without feeling guilty over the consequences.

In one of the more intimately bloody cases of weather in the law, an accused murderer claimed he sustained a scratch on his hand while snowboarding with his son and not during the attack. The forensic meteorologist on the case testified that it was raining at the time of the alleged snowboarding. Not only would that be a memorable detail neglected by the suspect, the rain should have melted the meagre snowpack, leaving the slopes impossibly bare for snowboarding. This testimony was enough to discredit the suspect’s claim, a small piece of evidence adding to the collected whole that eventually saw the murder convicted.

No dew-soaked footprints, no intruder. Image credit: AP/Al Behrman

In a different murder trial, a husband was accused of murdering his wife. He claimed an intruder did it. The forensic meteorologists were able to determine that the neighbourhood, particularly the grass around the house, would have been soaked with dew at the time of the murder. Any intruder would have left soggy footprints, something clearly lacking at the crime scene. This was enough to once again disprove the proposed intruder, helping narrow down theoretical suspects in the murder.

The examples keep on coming. Every major natural catastrophe will bring out forensic meteorologists to determine what exactly happened. Inclement weather will elicit attempts to blame any accidents on the weather, leading meteorologists to decide where weather fits along with human judgement, company policies, and equipment limitations. As we expect to keep getting more intense and more frequent extreme weather events as climate changes, forensic meteorology is just going to keep getting more important in sorting out what happened and how predictable it was.

While for now it’s a somewhat obscure, forensic meteorology is slowly gaining credibility as yet another way of bringing science and fact-based testimony into the courtroom. Even better, the amount of data available to pull into these cases is extensive, with detailed radar archives, rainfall gauges, volunteer observer reports, wind maps, and more to help meteorologists with their analysis. But the real question is: how will forensic meteorology be glamorized when it makes its inevitable break into the television with its own crime-solving hero?

SAPS Forensic Services: Available posts – August 2014

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

SAPS Forensic Services

New posts within the South African Police Service (SAPS) Forensic Services Division, under the SAPS Act (employment as a police official) and Public Service Act (employment as a civilian employee), have been added to their website and are currently being advertised – 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) and civilian employees are employed in terms of the Public Service Act, 1994 (Act No 103 of 1994).

CLOSING DATE for all applications: 08 AUGUST 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: Major (Chief Forensic Analyst)
Sub Section Commander: Mechanical & Metallurgical Engineering
Section: Ballistics
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Western Cape: Plattekloof (1 Post) (Ref FS 84/2014)

2. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Commander: Metallurgical Engineering
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Section: Ballistics
Location of the post: Western Cape: Plattekloof (1 Post) (Ref FS 85/2014)

3. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)
Sub-Section: Fire Investigation: Chemistry Investigation
Section: Chemistry
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Silverton: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 86/2014)

4. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)
Sub-Section: Facial Identification: Local Criminal Record Centre
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Secunda: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 87/2014)

5. Post: Warrant Officer (Forensic Analyst)
Component: Quality Management
Sub-Section: Environmental Compliance: Regional Laboratory
Location of the post:

  • Ballistics: Eastern Cape: Port Elizabeth [1 post] (Ref FS 88/2014)
  • Biology: Eastern Cape: Port Elizabeth [1 post] (Ref FS 89/2014)

6. Post: Constable
Sub Section: Crime Scene Investigation: Local Criminal Record Centre
Component: Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Lydenburg: Mpumalanga (1 Post) (Ref FS 90/2014)

PUBLIC SERVICE ACT POSTS

People who do not want to become police officials but who would like to work for the South African Police Service as civilian employees, may apply for vacant positions. Click here to read the application process in terms of the Public Service Act.

Please download the full advertisement for all the new Public Service 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: Secretary
Division: Forensic Services
Location of the post:

  • Provincial Head: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 91/2014)
  • Section Head: Questioned Documents: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 92/2014)
  • Component Head: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 93/2014)

2. Post: Data Typist
Sub-Section: Adjudication: Local Criminal Record Centre
Section: Criminalistic Bureau: Local Criminal Record Centre
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Musina: Limpopo (2 Posts) (Ref FS 94/2014)
  • Ladysmith: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 95/2014)
  • Lichtenburg: North West (1 Post) (Ref FS 96/2014)
  • Queenstown: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 97/2014)
  • Mthatha: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 98/2014)

3. Post: Administration Clerk
Sub-Section: Local Criminal Record Centre
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Cradock: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 99/2014)
  • Bellville: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 100/2014)

4. Post: Accounting Clerk
Sub-Section: Nodal Support Centre
Section: Provincial: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Northern Cape
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Kimberley: Northern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 101/2014)

5. Post: Personnel Officer
Sub-Section: Nodal Support Centre
Section: Provincial: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Eastern Cape
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: King Williams Town: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 102/2014)

6. Post: Provisioning Administration Clerk
Sub-Section: Nodal Support Centre
Section:

  • Provincial: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Kwazulu-Natal
  • Provincial: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Eastern Cape

Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • Durban: Kwazulu-Natal (1 Post) (Ref FS 103/2014)
  • King Williams Town: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 104/2014)

7. Post: Administration Clerk
Section: Victim Identification Centre
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 105/2014)

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.
  • 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 drivers license (Police Act appointments), Senior Certificate and all educational qualifications obtained and service certificates of previous employers stating the occupation and the period, must also be submitted and attached to every application.
  • APPLICANTS ARE REQUESTED TO INITIAL EACH AND EVERY PAGE OF THE APPLICATION FORM, INCLUDING THE CURRICULUM VITAE (CV) AND ALL ANNEXURES THAT ARE ATTACHED.
  • The copies must be correctly certified on the copy itself, not at the back. The certification must not be older than three months.
  • All qualifications and driver’s licenses submitted will be subjected to verification checking with the relevant institutions. The South African Police Service will verify the residential address of applicants and conduct reference checks.
  • Applications must be mailed timeously. Late applications will not be accepted or considered.
  • The closing date for the applications is 8th of August 2014.
  • 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.
  • Applicants appointed under the Police Service Act will be subjected to a medical assessment by a medical practitioner as determined by SAPS prescripts.
  • Applicants appointed under the Police Service Act will be subjected to undergo a lateral entry programme at a SAPS training institution, where applicable.
  • 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 / Lt 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

Forensic Pathology in South Africa

Friday, July 25th, 2014

What is forensic pathology?

Forensic pathology is a sub-specialty of pathology that focuses on determining the cause of death by examining a corpse.

South Africa’s Forensic Pathology Service

The Forensic Pathology Service falls under the Department of Health and deals with all cases of unnatural and unexplained deaths. Many of the unexplained death cases turn out to be due to natural causes, such as undiagnosed heart disease or an infection.

What does a forensic pathologist do?

Post-mortem examinations

Assisted by a Forensic Pathology Officer, the pathologist examines dead individuals to accurately establish their identity, the day of death and the cause of death.

They consider the body of the deceased to be a crime scene that they, as medical detectives, process in order to find and preserve evidence to present in future court evidence.

External examination

This reveals tell-tale signs on clothing, such as blood spatter or gunshot soot.

The deceased’s body may exhibit signs of a medical condition such as emaciation, indicating a severe disease like cancer or AIDS.

The body is examined from top to toe and special test samples can be taken to assist in a variety of ways:  toxicological analysis, microbiology to identify infections, chemical analysis, anthropology, odontology – the list of possibilities is very long.

A full body Lodox X-ray image in the case of multiple gunshots. Many of the white spots are bullets but some are metal press studs of the jeans the deceased was wearing. Red indicate the bullets. The yellow rectangle encircles the press studs.

In the Western Cape two of the big mortuaries have Lodox X-ray machines, which we use to do a full body X-ray. Other mortuaries have access to X-ray facilities at government hospitals. This assists hugely in many cases.

For example, where to look for the bullets in a body.

Once located, these bullets will be retrieved and examined by ballistic experts to match them to the murder weapon.

Internal examination

After the external examination, the internal examination is done by removing the chest and abdominal organs and the brain. Earn organ is examined individually and weighed.

Samples for microscopic and toxicological examination can be taken.

DNA samples may assist in identifying the deceased and/or the murderer.

In some instances, a natural disease process is discovered, which means further criminal investigation is not necessary. The finding may be very important for the relatives of the deceased, to come to understand the death and maybe even have themselves tested for risk factors.

Apart from doing autopsies, forensic pathologists are kept busy in many ways:

  • Going to scenes of death when requested by police investigators.
  • Compilation of autopsy reports.
  • Special investigations, for example microscopic examination of organ sections.
  • Drafting medical opinions on cause of death for the court.
  • Giving testimony in court.
  • Advising relatives of the deceased of possible familial disease so that they can go for a check-up and preventive treatment.
  • Teaching undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, lawyers and forensic pathology officers.
  • Research.

Who helps the forensic pathologist at the mortuary?

The forensic pathology officer, who is trained on the job. These officers are not medically qualified, but are taught how to assist. They need a Grade 10, a valid driver’s licence and the ability to work respectfully with living and dead people.

Forensic Pathology Officer

How do you become a forensic pathologist in South Africa?

  • This is a summary of qualifications and time required to become a forensic pathologist:
  • Matric/Grade 12/Umalusi with recommended subjects such as Life Science, Physical Science, Mathematics and English.
  • Six years of medical school.
  • One year of internship under supervision.
  • Two years of COSMOS (community service medical officer service).
  • Four years of registrar training at a medical school.

The above information was extracted from an article originally published in QUEST (2012) by Linda Liebenberg. To read the full article please click here.

Where can I study forensic pathology?

Additional information:

A UCT TV/Stepping Stones Production documentary on the Forensic Pathology Institute in Cape Town.

What is Forensic Entomology?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Forensic science is a discipline that deals with expert scientific evidence relevant to legal cases. It ranges from the more familiar topics of ballistics and blood-stain analysis to esoteric specialities like pigment analysis and forensic botany.

Life cycle of the blowfly

Forensic entomology concerns legal evidence provided by insects.

Just as law is concerned not only with murders, forensic entomology is broad in scope. In fact, it can be subdivided into four arenas: medico-legal forensic entomology is the one most familiar to the public, while urban, stored product, and environmental forensic entomology form the other specialities.

This classification is based on the communities of insects that are typically involved, but also tends to reflect the branches of law and the types of client that a forensic entomologist encounters.

Although the distinctions are somewhat artificial, they help to outline the diverse scope of this kind of work.

Urban forensic entomology

This branch of the discipline is broadly concerned with insects around people’s homes, and usually relates to issues governed by common law or civil law, so the clients are generally private individuals and small businesses. The overwhelming majority of insects in these cases are fly-by-night pests like borer beetles, termites, cockroaches, and mosquitoes, and the subject of the associated litigation might be the competence of fumigation companies and the sanitary practices of livestock owners.

Stored-product forensic entomology

This kind of forensic entomology relates to cases involving insects in stored products, such as food, woven materials, and timber. As in urban forensic entomology, the cases tend to fall under common or civil law and mostly concern pests, but the species are different, and the commercial interests are generally large companies rather than small businesses. The usual suspects are various grain-feeding beetles, clothes moths, and booklice.

Questions regularly asked by the public are along the lines of “Was the worm I found in my chocolate there when I bought it?” and “Was my woollen Persian carpet infested with clothes moths in the factory?” These cases rarely go to court, but insurance claims regarding infested or damaged consignments of valuable goods may warrant the involvement of lawyers and even magistrates.

Medico-legal forensic entomology

This field can be subdivided on the basis of whether civil or criminal law is relevant. Civil cases may include medical and veterinary malpractice as well as neglect by care-givers of children and the aged, who may acquire infestations through negligence. The civil clients are usually private persons, and the insects are generally blowflies and fleshflies.

Some cases may not even involve insects, however. Psychological cases of delusory parasitosis are sometimes brought to entomologists to deal with. These are cases where people are convinced they are infested with parasitic insects that no one else can detect. It takes careful entomological analysis to distinguish between illusory parasitosis (that is, imaginary parasitic infestations), entomophobia (fear of insects), and genuine infestations by various mites living in hair follicles and the epidermis.

The legal issue here is whether the person has a psychosis that requires commitment to an institution, or whether the medical profession has been incompetent in seeking the parasite. An entomologist can help to make this decision.

Where criminal law is pertinent, the discipline is distinguished as medico-criminal forensic entomology, which is the high-profile subject of public awareness. The client group encompasses accused criminals and the State. The routine CSI (Crime Scene Insects) are blowflies, fleshflies, and certain beetles and moths because a death is most often involved. The deaths are usually of humans, but poaching and stock theft can be investigated by similar entomological methods.

A less well-known component of this work is called forensic entomotoxicology, which relates to the detection of chemicals in corpses where insects as used as an investigative tool. Drugs and poisons affect the development and behaviours of insects and accumulate in their tissues, which can provide a rich source of evidence.

Environmental forensic entomology

Here, insects are used to monitor the natural environment for evidence of pollution and undesirable change, and can provide evidence for both civil and criminal cases. This type of forensic entomology is still in the process of gaining recognition as a distinct discipline, and has gained increasing popularity in detecting effects of humans on the environment, either accidental or deliberate. In particular, the science of environmental toxicology has won growing acceptance since the publication of Rachel Carson’s landmark book Silent Spring in 1962.

The processes of forensic entomology help police with evidence when they investigate deaths that have occurred. Based on an understanding of the decaying processes of a corpse, and knowledge of the living organisms that invade a corpse, experts are able to estimate the conditions in which the person or animal died.

Work in forensic entomology

Forensic entomologists have two tasks: they develop sources of evidence through academic research, and they apply evidence in particular cases as expert witnesses.

Being an expert witness does not necessarily mean appearing in court. In many civil cases where expert evidence is involved, the matter is settled out of court. In these instances, the evidence can have a direct bearing on whether the case needs to go to court.

The same is true of criminal cases, but here an expert witness can have another role as well. The forensic entomologist may, in some instances, not contribute direct evidence but rather uncover clues that lead the police to crucial discoveries.

In either of these situations, it helps to be good at puzzle solving.

Jobs for forensic entomologists have been scarce throughout the world, but the situation is changing as the science grows.

In South Africa, work as an expert witness in forensic entomology formed a component of a broader job in forensic science within the laboratories of the South African Police Service. Most other expert witnesses who provided entomological evidence to the South African legal system were employed in universities and other research institutions.

But changes in the modern employment market are emphasizing self-employment and entrepreneurship, and the range of clients interested in forensic entomology is widening so much that a career as a forensic consultant is becoming feasible.

Career paths

There are three ways to become a forensic entomologist in South Africa:

  • Obtain a university degree in science subjects including biology or chemistry, then join the South African Police Service and complete a broader training in forensic science in their laboratories. Afterwards, you could work for the State and you could specialize in entomological work that would be primarily medico-criminal.
  • Become a self-employed consultant in forensic entomology. The first step in this direction would be university training in applied entomology, preferably with a specialization in forensic entomology at the level of Master of Science or even a doctorate. The next step is to find work in a mixture of urban, stored-product, medico-legal, and environmental cases for State, private, and commercial clients. A business-orientated way of thinking is a vital asset in taking the consultant route.
  • A third path lies between self-employment and becoming a police scientist. It, too, entails university training in entomology or zoology, normally to the doctoral level, then joining a university or research institute and doing other things (such as teaching or research) in addition to forensic work. One can even specialize in research on forensic entomology, rather than undertaking case work.

Where to study

Forensic entomology is a fascinating subject and, far from being limited to solving murders, it can bring science to bear on a surprising array of commercial, social, and environmental problems. The growth of the subject throughout the world makes it international, while its expansion into new areas of law offers new scientific challenges to provide precise and legally reliable evidence.

The above information was extracted from an article originally published in QUEST (2006) by Martin Villet and Nikite Muller. To read the full article please click here.

Additional website

SciShow – CSI Special Insects Unit: Forensic Entomology

SciShow’s Michael Aranda walks you through the crime-fighting science of forensic entomology, the study of insects used in criminal investigations.

SAPS Forensic Services: Available posts – July 2014

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

SAPS Forensic Services stand at the 2nd National Forensic Services Conference held in 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 – 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). Click here to read the application process in terms of the SAPS Act.

CLOSING DATE for applications: 11 July 2014

Please download the full advertisement for all the new forensic services 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: Colonel

Section Commander: Forensic Psychology
Section: Investigative Psychology
Component: Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 43/2014)

2. Post: Major

Commander: Crime Scene Laboratories: Local Criminal Record Centre
Section: Provincial: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management: Gauteng
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: Johannesburg: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 44/2014)

3. Post: Major

Commander: Case Administration
Section: Chemistry
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 45/2014)

4. Post: Major

Commander: Chemical Analysis
Section: Regional Laboratory: Eastern Cape
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 46/2014)

5. Post: Major

Commander: Routine DNA Case Review
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 47/2014)

6. Post: Major

Commander: DNA Reporting Officers
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 48/2014)

7. Post: Major

Commander: Case Management
Section: Ballistics
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 49/2014)

8. Post: Major

Commander: Ballistics Analysis
Section: Ballistics
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 50/2014)

9. Post: Major

Commander: Primer Residue Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 51/2014)

10. Post: Major

Commander: Organic Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 52/2014)

11. Post: Major

Commander: Biology: Quality Management
Section: Regional Quality Management
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Plattekloof: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 53/2014)

12. Post: Lieutenant

Sub-Section: Chemical Processing
Section: Crime Scene Laboratories
Component: Criminal Record & Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 54/2014)

13. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)

Sub Section: DNA Serial Casework
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 55/2014)

14. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)

Sub Section: Organic Analysis: Material Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 56/2014)

15. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)

Sub Section: Precious Metals Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 57/2014)

16. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)

Sub Section: Environmental Compliance: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Section: Quality Management: Crime Scene Management / LCRC’s
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Kimberley: Northern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 58/2014)

17. Post: Senior Forensic Analyst (Lieutenant)

Sub Section: Quality Assurance: Crime Scene Laboratories
Section: Quality Management: CR & CSM
Component: Quality Management
Location of the post: Pretoria: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 59/2014)

18. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Section: Chemical Processing: Crime Scene Laboratories
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post: National Office: Pretoria (2 Posts) (Ref FS 60/2014)

19. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Section: Crime Scene Laboratories
Component: Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Location of the post:

  • National Office:Pretoria (2 Posts) (Ref FS 61/2014)
  • Vereeniging: Gauteng (1 Post) (Ref FS 62/2014)
  • Mmabatho: North West (1 Post) (Ref FS 63/2014)
  • Kimberley: Northern Cape (2 Posts) (Ref FS 64/2014)
  • Springbok: Northern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 65/2014)
  • Port Alfred: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 66/2014)
  • Mount Road: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 67/2014)
  • Mthatha: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 68/2014)
  • Park Road: Free state (2 Posts) (Ref FS 69/2014)
  • Mitchells Plain: Western Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 70/2014)

20. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Sub-Section: Evidence Recovery
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (1 Post) (Ref FS 71/2014)

21. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Sub-Section: DNA Analysis
Section: Biology
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Plattekloof: Western Cape (4 Posts) (Ref FS 72/2014)

22. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Sub-Section: Ballistics Analysis
Section: Ballistics
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post:

  • Silverton: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 73/2014)
  • Port Elizabeth: Eastern Cape (2 Posts) (Ref FS 74/2014)
  • Plattekloof: Western Cape (2 Posts) (Ref FS 75/2014)

23. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Sub Section: Microscopy: Trace Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Silverton: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 76/2014)

24. Post: Forensic Analyst (Warrant Officer)

Sub Section: Profiling: Material Analysis
Section: Scientific Analysis
Component: Forensic Science Laboratory
Location of the post: Silverton: Pretoria (1 Post) (Ref FS 77/2014)

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.
  • 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 drivers license (Police Act appointments), Senior Certificate and all educational qualifications obtained and service certificates of previous employers stating the occupation and the period, must also be submitted and attached to every application.
  • APPLICANTS ARE REQUESTED TO INITIAL EACH AND EVERY PAGE OF THE APPLICATION FORM, INCLUDING THE CURRICULUM VITAE (CV) AND ALL ANNEXURES THAT ARE ATTACHED.
  • The copies must be correctly certified on the copy itself, not at the back. The certification must not be older than three months.
  • All qualifications and driver’s licenses submitted will be subjected to verification checking with the relevant institutions. The South African Police Service will verify the residential address of applicants and conduct reference checks.
  • Applications must be mailed timeously. Late applications will not be accepted or considered.
  • The closing date for the applications is 11th of July 2014.
  • 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.
  • Applicants appointed under the Police Service Act will be subjected to a medical assessment by a medical practitioner as determined by SAPS prescripts.
  • Applicants appointed under the Police Service Act will be subjected to undergo a lateral entry programme at a SAPS training institution, where applicable.
  • 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 / Lt 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

48 Hours – Students learn about Forensic Science

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

SABC - 48 Hours

For all our young budding scientists out there interested in entering the fascinating world of forensics…

Watch as two Matric students gain insight into the diverse career field of Forensic Science, which incorporates crime scene investigation, court proceedings, digital forensics and lab work, in the following episode of SABC’s 48 Hours programme.

This episode (S05 – Episode 01) was first broadcast on 16th of October 2013 on SABC2.

48 Hours is an educational youth television show, designed to bring the world of careers to young South Africans. Two Matric pupils spend 48 hours with a professional on the job, take on basic chores while learning as much as possible and asking as many questions as possible!