Posts Tagged ‘DNA Project’

 

Applications and Nominations: National Forensic Oversight & Ethics Board

Tue, Feb 25th, 2014

REF:MINP/01/14

CALLING FOR APPLICATIONS BY PERSONS WISHING TO SERVE AS MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL FORENSIC OVERSIGHT AND ETHICS BOARD OR NOMINATIONS OF SUCH PERSONS

The Minister of Police hereby requests applications from persons from outside the public sector who wish to serve as a member of the National Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board or nominations of suitable persons to serve as a member of this Board. The applications by persons, or nominations of persons,

The National Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board is established in terms of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, 2013 (Act No. 37 of 2013) that was assented to by the President of the Republic on the 27 January 2014. In terms of the Act, the Minister of Police is required to appoint the National Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board.

(more…)

2nd Annual Forensic Science Services Conference 2014

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014

This last week Carolyn and I have been spoilt for choice in having the opportunity to attend as well as present at what can only be described as a world class event: the 2nd Annual Forensic Science Services (FSS) Conference which was held this last week in Pretoria from the 10th to the 13th February 2014.

(more…)

DNA Act a monumental step forward for SA

Fri, Feb 14th, 2014

The promulgation of the new DNA Act in January was a “monumental step forward” for South Africa as the nation battled high levels of crime, but an easy implementation should not be expected, writes Natasha Odendaal for Engineering News, 13 February 2014.

(more…)

DNA Bill Panel Discussion

Thu, Feb 13th, 2014

Date: 13 February 2014

Time: 12:00 – 14:00

Venue: Melrose Arch African Pride Hotel

1 Melrose Square

Melrose Arch

Johannesburg, GAU 2196, ZA

+27 11 214 6666

(more…)

Sponsor and profile of the month

Mon, Feb 3rd, 2014

The work we accomplish as the DNA Project is in no small part thanks to the dedication of an amazing group of individuals that encompasses the DNA Project family as well as the incredible help and generous support we receive from our sponsors.

As a thank you and means for our supporters to learn more about the the DNA Project, we’ll be showcasing one of our sponsor’s or team member’s profiles each month beginning from February.

This month’s chosen sponsor is the Mike Thomson “Change a Life” Trust.

The Mike Thomson Change a Life Trust, launched by Computershare in 2008, is one of our most generous sponsors which is dedicated to a peaceful future for all South Africans. It supports effective, grassroots programmes that aim to address the causes and symptoms of crime. The DNA Project is fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of this incredible initiative.

The Change a Life Trust currently supports the DNA Project, iChoose to Change a Life, the Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy, the Allan Thomson Kushido Karate-do and Nemato Change a Life.

Change a Life’s primary fundraiser is an annual Change a Life Cycle Tour and the 2014 Change a Life Masquerade Cycle Tour, scheduled to take place from 13 to 18 September, promises to be one of their most dramatic tours yet. The four day 500 km cycle tour will start in the beautiful Western Cape and looks to be an extreme challenge for all participants.

The 2014 Change a Life Masquerade Cycle Tour, scheduled to take place from 13 to 18 September promises to be one of our 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, we can confirm that the four day 500 km cycle tour starting in the beautiful Western Cape will more than fulfil our participants’ expectations of an extreme challenge, while the après cycle experiences will be filled with all the drama and intrigue of a masquerade ball…

To learn more about Change a life please visit http://dnaproject.co.za/change-a-life or http://changealifecycle.co.za.

Groundbreaking New Training Program Developed

Mon, Aug 15th, 2011

DNA Project team

DNA Project Team

Members of the DNA Project gathered together in Cape Town last month for the 2nd Annual DNA Project’s Trainers Workshop. The objective of this year’s workshop was to critically assess the DNA Awareness Campaign we have been running for the past year to identify whether any changes or improvements needed to be made to the programme, based on the field experience of our Trainers who have been hosting workshops throughout South Africa.

The second and more exciting reason for the gathering was to ‘brainstorm’ around the development of the innovative new ‘Train the Trainer’ program which the DNA Project wants to initiate as phase two of its DNA Awareness Campaign.

Currently, the way in which we have been disseminating DNA Awareness to the private security sector, guarding services, emergency services, community police forums, the justice system and general public, has been through directly contacting these sectors of the community and offering to host free DNA Awareness workshops at their respective premises.  We believe, however, that a more effective approach to ensure DNA Awareness training would be to introduce DNA Awareness training at Trainer level, which enables those organisations which conduct their own training to provide ongoing DNA Awareness training at their premises at their own convenience. We believe that by including DNA Awareness training as part of their basic crime scene management training, it will ensure that they are comprehensively taught about the value of crime scene preservation. In addition, no matter what the turnover of staff is within a company, each new employee will automatically receive DNA Awareness training at entry level. By creating DNA Awareness as an industry standard, these  sectors of the community will be able to offer this as an added value service to their existing protocols.

In other words, instead of ‘fishing’ for the community we would like to teach these sectors  how to ‘fish for themselves’.

How will a Train the Trainer workshop differ from our basic DNA Awareness Workshop we currently offer?

The Train the Trainer workshop will consist of a full day’s training, whereby an instructor from the DNA Project will impart the basics of the science behind DNA forensics and crime scene preservation. These Train the Trainer workshops, as with the DNA Awareness workshops, will be sponsored by the DNA Project and thus will be free of charge.

Course Outline

  • A simple summary of DNA, the techniques of DNA profiling and the benefits of a National DNA Criminal Intelligence Database in crime investigation.
  • The responsibilities of the First Officer attending the crime scene with potential DNA evidence will be covered.
  • The Trainers will be taught how to identify the potential sources, locations and limitations of DNA evidence so that they can pass on this valuable information to Trainees during crime scene training.
  • An overview of the correct handling and packaging of samples from crime scenes, suspects and complainants and who should be doing what.
  • Trainees will be provided with information relating to the legislation that regulates the use of DNA as an evidential tool.
  • The Trainees will briefed as to what actually happens in a South African Forensic Lab  and how much of “CSI” is fact and what is fiction.
  • The central message of our DNA Awareness Campaign will be covered, and the reasons why these six steps are so important will be explored , namely:

“DNA CSI”

D = DON’T TOUCH

N= NOTE & RECORD

A = ASSIST OTHER OFFICERS

C = COMFORT & SUPPORT VICTIMS

S = SECURE THE CRIME SCENE

I = INSIST NO-ONE INTERFERES

For more information, or if you interested in attending a Train the Trainer workshop or DNA Awareness workshop, please contact Maya Moodley at the DNA Project on maya@dnaproject.co.za or tel (021) 418 0647.

Women’s ‘Arrest Law’: Warning

Sun, Jul 24th, 2011

Recently, we received the email below:

DO YOU KNOW THIS LAW?

An incident took place – a young girl was attacked by a man posing as a plain clothes officer; he asked her to come to the police station when she & her male friend didn’t have a driver’s license to show. He sent the male friend off to get his license and asked the girl to accompany him to the police station. Instead he took her to an isolated area where the rape was committed.

The law [which most of us are not aware of] clearly states that between 6 pm and 6 am, a woman has the right to REFUSE to go to the Police Station, even if an arrest warrant has been issued against her.

It is procedural that a woman can only be arrested between 6am and 6pm, unless she is arrested by a woman officer and taken to an ALL WOMEN police station. If she is arrested by a male officer, it has to be proven that a

woman officer was on duty at the time of arrest.

Please fwd this to as many girls/women you know. Guys, protect your wives, sisters and mothers by knowing this law. It is good for us to know our rights.

Do not neglect, fwd to your entire buddy list.

———————————————————————————————————————–

After some research, we identified that this email is a hoax which has been circulating the internet for a few years and has been credited in various forms in different countries throughout the world. Although a law such as this would be great in terms of our high rate of rape in South Africa, it is simply not true.

One thing which females should remember if they are arrested, is that under the Criminal Procedures Act, a woman can only be searched by a female police officer. This is your right and if this is not performed by a female you have the right to insist that it is.

If you come across any emails such as this, please do not forward this incorrect information further. Although your intentions are noble, by passing on these hoax emails, you could inadvertently cause someone to be charged with refusing arrest, if they believe that these emails are true.

Dr. Carolyn Hancock on 702 Radio

Wed, Jun 29th, 2011

Last Sunday, Udo Carelse from 702 Radio invited Dr. Carolyn Hancock to discuss the DNA Project and the role of DNA forensics in South Africa. 702 Radio has a special slot on a Sunday morning where they address issues of crime. They get station commanders from various policing stations to address issues in their areas. However, this week’s focus was on the recent break-ins at both the Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros’s home and the former national commissioner Jackie Selebi’s home. The general view was that such high profile people definitely receive special attention when they are victims of crime. However, changing to a slightly different

Udo Carelse

issue, Udo chatted to Carolyn about what is being done for the average South African when DNA evidence is left at a crime scene. They also discussed the new DNA Bill and the study tour currently being undertaken by the parliamentary committee to Canada and the UK. Below is the sound clip of the interview with Carolyn where she highlights the roll of DNA forensics and the need for the expansion of South Africa’s national DNA database. Please remember to contact us at maya@dnaproject.co.za if you are interested in our DNA awareness workshops!

Click on the link below for the interview, or right click and save the file.

Dr Carolyn Hancock 702 Radio

Note: The legislation was drafted in 2008 and not 1998 as stated in the sound clip.

Is DNA forensics being used in South Africa?

Mon, Jun 27th, 2011

Yes! DNA is used in a number of forensic investigations that are performed daily in South Africa. This is great news but unfortunately this amazing technology is still under utilised in our country. So what has been in the news lately?

A single cigarette butt left at the scene of a robbery and murder has led to the conviction of a 24-year-old man

An article, published in ioL news on the 21st June, describes how DNA evidence was used to convict a 24-year old man of the robbery and murder of Cornelia Janneke. Without the DNA evidence collected by police and the CSI team, Thumelo Monakedi would have never been brought to justice. The accused vehemently denied ever being at the scene of the crime. However, the saliva on the tip of a cigarette butt irrefutably proved his presence at the crime. With a 23 billion chance of the DNA profile on the cigarette not being the accused, it shows without any doubt who committed this crime!

With one child going missing every six hours in South Africa I found another recent article very interesting. A pilot project that involves the collection of pupil’s fingerprints, saliva swabs, hair samples and a photo ID of the pupil, has been introduced into a school in Brackenfell on the 20 June 2011.

OUCH! Bastion Primary Grade 1 pupil Anita Steyn, 7, braces herself as Sjean de Kock, a fourth-year social work student, takes a hair sample to be included in the IDENT-A-KID database, aimed at keeping children safe. Picture: Jeffrey Abrahams

Note is also taken of physical features, such as hair and eye colour as well as age. All this information will be stored on a school database, so that if a missing child is found the police will be able to identify the child. With projects like this in South Africa, we would also be able to identify missing children and reunite them with their families.

So going back to the main question, is DNA being used in forensic investigations in South Africa? Yes it is – but there is SO much more that still needs to be done….. For example, we desperately need to pass the amendment to the Criminal Procedures Act which would allow for the expansion of our National DNA Database. Unfortunately, due to the this legislation not being considered by the Parliamentary Committee for Police, the police are not empowered to utilise DNA evidence to it’s full potential. To quote a recent article written by Chris Asplen on the delay in the legislation regarding the expansion and regulation of the national DNA database, “hundreds of thousands of children’s lives are sacrificed because of the failure to act by politicians in South Africa.”