Posts Tagged ‘forensic’

 

On the graveyard shift: this is what it’s like to collect South Africa’s dead

Friday, April 8th, 2016

Selby Cindi, from Johannesburg Forensic Pathology Services, and a Johannesburg metro police officer lift the body of an accident victim from a street in the Johannesburg CBD. Image: Alon Skuy

The following article published by the Sunday Times takes a fascinating look at South Africa’s Forensic Pathology Services.

Five nights, four bodies. Reporter Graeme Hosken and photographer Alon Skuy spent the graveyard shift with the men and women who collect South Africa’s dead.

Body #38 lies on a steel gurney in Carletonville Forensic Pathology Services’s “new” fridge.

The government-issued cream-coloured body bag refuses to seal, her arm hangs half out.

She’s just arrived. Half-naked, 14 stab wounds to the chest.

“Gogo” was found sprawled on the dusty ground in the backyard of her Bekkersdal home. Her bloodied white blouse ripped open, her skirt bunched around her waist.

She had been there for days. She lived alone.

“It’s tough,” says Sello Mabote, as he scrawls her “new ID” number on a beige toe tag.

“It’s especially tough when it comes to the families.”

For his colleague Mpho Marahoni it’s murders, the death of children, and surviving families that get to him.

“They are lost,” he says as he writes down the body’s details, “searching for answers, pleading for help.”

South Africa’s morgue officers have to be policemen, church ministers and counsellors to the families of the dead.

Body #38 is the 38th of 107 bodies collected by Carletonville’s mortuary officers so far this year.

To continue reading the full article, please click here.

SOURCE: This article was first published by the Sunday Times on the 30th of March 2015

CSI: Reality vs Fiction

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

CSIWe have all seen some form of those crime television programs, whether it’s CSI, NCIS or some other program with an arm length acronym. They all seem to follow the same cookie cut scenarios: a crime is committed, the overly good looking CSI guys arrive and collect the smallest traces of physical evidence which no human would be able to find without super-vision. Then they race back to their state of the art labs where they instantly identify exactly who committed the crime, rush off to arrest the suspects and deliver a clever line about how could they think they would get away with the crime. Although these shows are extremely interesting and most of the techniques are accurate, the time frame is often enormously exaggerated. For example, in my lab we enjoyed watching this clip from CSI where what took them 60 seconds, would take us an entire day, not to say we were lazy and took our time, if they were to show the entire process it would be extremely boring and the show would lose all suspense.

Horatio CaineSo although CSI is based on accurate information, it is largely a fictional program. It would be illogical to have someone like Horatio Caine working on a case from beginning to end, if the criminals knew who is working with a sample which could alter the verdict of their sentence, they would try their upmost to influence or threaten that person.  So in reality, the forensic analyst works with anonymous samples so there is no bias or chance of influencing the results.

Another interesting byproduct of these shows is a new psychological effect, called the ‘CSI effect’ named after the original crime scene program but all of these crime scene programs adds to the effect.

You would think this ‘CSI effect’ would not have any real world ramifications, however, the effects are being felt in America courtrooms where they use a panel of their peers to decide the verdict of a criminal case. During jury selections, potential jurors are now being asked whether they are avid watchers of CSI related TV shows as these people may have unrealistic expectations in certain cases. They expect to have some form of DNA or physical evidence linking the criminal to the crime scene everytime and without it they are less likely to find the defendant guilty, as well as they jury have a higher conviction rate if DNA evidence is available. With jurors heard to complain that “they didn’t even dust for fingerprints on the lawn”, the level of unrealistic expectations has increased.

A paper was published in the journal, National Institute of Justice, where they looked at this CSI effect. The survey indicated jurors that, 46 % they expected some kind of scientific evidence in every criminal case, 22% expected some kind of DNA evidence, 36 % expected fingerprint evidence, and 32% expected some kind of ballistic or firearm lab evidence. However, contrary to the expectations of the study, jurors were more likely to find a defendant guilty than not guilty even without scientific evidence if the victim or other witnesses testified, except in the case of rape. So although crime scene TV shows caused jurors to have higher expectations for scientific evidence than there non-watching counterparts, these expectations had little effect on the jurors propensity to convict.

Although there is anecdotal evidence that this ‘CSI Effect’ which has increased the layman’s knowledge of these scientific practices exists, there does not seem to be any real world influence, at least in the case of jurors.

Anyone who watches these programs will say they are extremely interesting, whether they are skeptical or believe every part of the show is a different story.  In South Africa where crime seems to be a pastime, it is sweet respite to be able to watch these guys on TV find and arrest criminals using physical evidence, whether its ballistics or DNA evidence, hoping that these techniques are being used to catch our criminals here.

Grant

This week’s blog entry was written and compiled by Grant Godsmark, a Genetic Hons student who works with The DNA Project and conducts DNA Awareness Training in the KZN Region. Read more about Grant here

Grant Godsmark

Grant Godsmark

Groundbreaking New Training Program Developed

Monday, August 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.

Exciting New Job Opportunities being offered at Forensic Science Labs throughout SA

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

We are very excited to report that the Forensic Science Laboratory is currently looking for forensic analysts to fill over 150 new posts throughout SA. There are posts being offered in the Biology (DNA) Unit, Chemistry Unit as well as in Ballistics.
The generic minimum requirements applicable to all posts are as follows:

• Competence in the post-specific core functions of the advertised post

• Senior Certificate (Grade 12) and a relevant degree or diploma applicable to the specific post (NQF6), as specified below at each post

• Computer literate

• Valid motor vehicle driver’s licence is an advantage

• Fluent in at least two of the official languages, of which one must be English

• The posts are appointments in terms of the South African Police Service Act of 1995

• Recommended applicants will be subjected to a medical examination, before the appointment will be finally approved

• All successful candidates will undergo basic Police training and relevant specialised training in the field of application for a period that will be determined by the National Commissioner

• All applicants will be subjected to a vetting and relevant screening process

• Successful applicants may, upon appointment and completion of their training, be expected from time to time depending on the needs of the organisation to work flexi hours or shifts in the execution of their duties.

The closing date for applications is the 19 August 2011. Please also take note of the ***Important General Information posted below. If you are interested or know someone who may be interested in applying for a post at the FSL, please pass on this information.

Below please find details of the posts being offered or click here to view the original job advertisement.:

Forensic Science Laboratory
Forensic Analysts – DNA (Biology Unit) (76 Posts)
Western Cape (35 posts) (Ref. FS 155/2011) • KwaZulu-Natal (13 posts) (Ref. FS156/2011) • Pretoria (16) (Ref. FS 157/2011) • Eastern Cape (12 posts) (Ref. FS158/2011)

Section: Biology Component: Forensic Science Laboratory

Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Analyse biological material up to the level of evidence processing or analysis of DNA results • Submit reports regarding analysis performed • Present expert testimony in court.
Additional requirements: Degree/National Diploma in the Natural Sciences majoring in one or more of the following: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology, Medical Science/Technology, Molecular Biology and Physiology.

Forensic Analysts – Chemistry Unit (18 Posts)
Western Cape (8) (Ref. FS159/2011) • KwaZulu-Natal (2) (Ref. FS160/2011) • Pretoria (6) (Ref. FS161/2011) • Eastern Cape (2) (Ref.FS162/2011)

Section: Chemistry Sub-section: Drugs/Toxicology Component: Forensic Science Laboratory

Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Examine exhibit material of drug-related cases and toxicology cases, including the issuing of reports on relevant findings • Render expert evidence in court • Maintain the FSL Quality • Management System • Maintain instrumentation • Perform general administrative duties related to casework.
Additional requirements: BSc degree (majors: Chemistry/Analytical Chemistry/Organic Chemistry/Applied Chemistry/Pure and Applied Chemistry), or a National Diploma • BTech in Analytical Chemistry.
Forensic Analysts – Chemistry Unit (17 Posts)
Western Cape (5) (Ref. FS163/2011) • KwaZulu-Natal (4) (Ref. FS164/2011) • Pretoria (6) (Ref. FS 165/2011) • Eastern Cape (2) (Ref. FS166 /2011)

Section: Chemistry Sub-section: Fire Component: Forensic Science Laboratory Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Perform forensic crime scene investigations, mainly fire scene investigation and forensic analysis of exhibit material, including the issuing of reports on relevant findings • Render expert evidence in court • Maintain the FSL Quality Management System • Maintain instrumentation • Perform general administrative duties related to casework.
Additional requirements: BSc degree (majors: Chemistry/Analytical Chemistry/Organic Chemistry/Applied Chemistry/Pure and Applied Chemistry), or a National Diploma • BTech in Analytical Chemistry.
Assistant Engineers – Ballistics (6 Posts)
Western Cape (2) (Ref. FS167 /2011) • Pretoria (4) (Ref. FS168 /2011) Section: Ballistics Sub-section: Mechanical Engineering Component: Forensic Science Laboratory Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Render an effective and efficient mechanical and metallurgical engineering examination service to all investigators of crime • Administer the engineering case file assigned to the forensic analyst • Investigate crime scenes • Present testimony in court • Perform failure analysis on metallurgical samples • Investigate vehicle accidents • Support engineering investigations into vehicle theft crimes.
Additional requirements: BEng: Metallurgy and Mechanical Engineering or National Diploma/B Tech in Metallurgy and Mechanical Engineering • Registration with the Engineering Council of South Africa would be an added advantage.

Forensic Analysts – Ballistics (10 Posts)
Western Cape (3) (Ref. FS169/2011) • Pretoria (3) (Ref. FS 170/2011) • KwaZulu-Natal (4) (Ref. FS171/2011) Section: Ballistics Component: Forensic Science Laboratory Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Examine ballistic-related cases, including identification and analysis of firearms, tool mark analysis, bite mark analysis, wound ballistics and the establishment of the IBIS database • Investigate and reconstruct ballistic-related crime scenes • Submit reports regarding analyses performed • Present expert testimony in court • Perform general administrative duties related to casework.
Additional requirements: Degree/National Diploma majoring in one or more of the following: Forensic Investigation/Science, Criminalistics, Police Science, Armourer, Criminology, Police Administration, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Law of Evidence, Medical Technology, Medical Science, Physics, Chemistry – Analytical/Pure and Applied, Computer Science, Mathematical Statistics, Applied Mathematics, Metallurgy.

Forensic Analysts – Questioned Documents (10 Posts)
Western Cape (2) (Ref. FS172/2011) • Pretoria (2) (Ref. FS173 /2011) • KwaZulu-Natal (3) (Ref. FS174 /2011) • Eastern Cape (3) (Ref. FS 175/2011) Section: Questioned Documents Component: Forensic Science Laboratory Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Examine questioned document cases, including ink analysis, handwriting analysis, bank notes, identification and travel documentation as well as credit card analysis. • Establishment of questioned documents database. • Conduct questioned documents-related research. • Present expert testimony in court • Submit reports regarding analysis performed • Perform general administrative duties related to casework.
Additional requirements: National Diploma majoring in one or more of the following: Policing, Police Administration, Police Science • BA/BIuries/BProc/LLB or diploma in Chemistry • BA or BA (Hons) specialising in Criminology.

Forensic Analysts – Scientific Analysis (2 Posts)
Pretoria (Image) Section: Scientific Analysis Component: Forensic Science Laboratory Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum (Ref. FS176/2011)
Core functions: Conduct forensic analysis of CCTV material • Present testimony in court • Attend crime scene • Research, develop and validate procedures • Perform general administrative duties related to casework.
Additional requirements: National Diploma/B Tech in one or more of the following: Fine Arts/Graphic Design with Photography as a subject, Multimedia or Photography • Proven and demonstrable experience in Adobe Premium.

Forensic Analysts – Scientific Analysis (2 Posts)
Pretoria (Material Analysis)
Section: Scientific Analysis Component: Forensic Science Laboratory Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum (Ref. FS 177/2011)
Core functions: Conduct scientific analysis and examine cases, mainly environmental and/or geological, including precious metals and soil analysis • Present expert testimony in court • Submit reports regarding analyses performed • Examine the crime scene • Maintain and calibrate instruments • Perform general administrative duties related to casework.
Additional requirements: Degree majoring in one or more of the following: Analytical Chemistry or Geology with a minimum of three years’ experience in an analytical laboratory • Proven and demonstrable experience in one or more of statistics, microscopy, mineralogy, gemology and analytical chemistry will be an added advantage.

Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management
Forensic Analyst: Laboratory Technicians

• Eastern Cape: * Cradock (2) (Ref. FS 178/2011) * Grahamstown (2) (Ref. FS 179/2011) * Fort Beaufort (1) (Ref. FS 180/2011) * Jeffreys Bay (1) (Ref. FS 181/2011) * King William’s Town (2) (Ref. FS 182/2011) * Middelburg (2) (Ref. FS 183/2011) * Port Alfred (2) (Ref. FS 184/2011) * Mount Road (PE) (1) (Ref. FS 185/2011) * Queenstown (1) (Ref. FS 186/2011) * Uitenhage (1) (Ref. FS 187/2011) * Province Task Team (5) (Ref. FS 188/2011) * Mthatha (1) (Ref. FS 189/2011) • Free State: * Welkom (2) (Ref. FS 190/2011) * Parkweg (Bloemfontein) (1) (Ref. FS 191/2011) * Bethlehem (2) (Ref. FS 192/2011) * Kroonstad (1) (Ref. FS 193/2011) * Puthaditjhaba(1) (Ref. FS 194/2011) * Selosesha (1) (Ref. FS 195/2011) * Sasolburg (2) (Ref. FS 196/2011) • Gauteng: * Joburg Central (1) (Ref. FS 197/2011) * Krugersdorp (1) (Ref. FS 198/2011) * Pretoria Central (1) (Ref. FS 199/2011) * Protea Glen (1) (Ref. FS 200/2011) * Kempton Park (1) (Ref. FS 201/2011) * Sandton (2) (Ref. FS 202/2011) * Pretoria North (1) (Ref. FS 203/2011) * Vereeniging (1) (Ref. FS 204/2011) • Lyttelton (1) (Ref. FS 205/2011) * Springs (1) (Ref. FS 206/2011) * Garankuwa (1) (Ref. FS 207/2011) • KwaZulu-Natal: * Ladysmith (1) (Ref. FS 208/2011) * Vryheid (1) (Ref. FS 209/2011) * Mtubatuba (2) (Ref. FS 210/2011) * Newcastle (1) (Ref. FS 211/2011) * Kokstad (1) (Ref. FS 212/2011) * Pietermaritzburg (1) (Ref. FS 213/2011) • Limpopo: * Lephalale (1) (Ref. FS 214/2011) * Modimolle (1) (Ref. FS 215/2011) * Lebowakgomo (1) (Ref. FS 216/2011) * Thabazimbi (1) (Ref. FS 217/2011) * Thohoyandou (1) (Ref. FS 218/2011) * Musina (1) (Ref. FS 219/2011) * Polokwane (1) (Ref. FS 220/2011) • Mpumalanga: * Ermelo (1) (Ref. FS 221/2011) * Acornhoek (1) (Ref. FS 222/2011) * Witbank (1) (Ref. FS 223/2011) * Lydenburg (1) (Ref. FS 224/2011) * Secunda (1) (Ref. FS 225/2011) * Nelspruit (1) (Ref. FS 226/2011) * Elukwatini (2) (Ref. FS 227/2011) • North West: * Brits (1) (Ref. FS 228/2011) * Klerksdorp (1) (Ref. FS 229/2011) * Lichtenburg (1) (Ref. FS 230/2011) * Mmabatho (1) (Ref. FS 231/2011) * Potchefstroom (2) (Ref. FS 232/2011) * Rustenburg (1) (Ref. FS 233/20110 * Vryburg (2) (Ref. FS 234/2011) • Northern Cape: * De Aar (1) (Ref. FS 235/2011) * Upington (1) (Ref. FS 236/2011) * Springbok (1) (Ref. FS 237/2011) * Kimberley (1) (Ref. FS 238/2011) * Kuruman (1) (Ref. FS 239/2011) • Western Cape: * Cape Town Central (1) (Ref. FS 240/2011) * Mitchells Plain (1) (Ref. FS 241/2011) * Bellville (1) (Ref. FS 242/2011) * Worcester (1) (Ref. FS 243/2011) * Beaufort West (1) (Ref. FS 244/2011) * George (1) (Ref. FS 245/2011) * Somerset West (1) (Ref. FS 246/2011) * Paarl (1) (Ref. FS 247/2011) * Vredendal (1) (Ref. FS 248/2011) • National Crime Scene Management: Pretoria (2) (Ref. FS 249/2011)
Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Process evidence/exhibits in the LCRC Laboratory • Adhere to procedures for receiving and processing evidence for fingerprints • Attend to crime scenes on request for the development and capturing of fingerprints on immovable items by means of specialised scientific equipment • Adhere to procedures for capturing and recording of the results of fingerprints and related examinations and represent evidence in court of law • Maintain the LCRC Laboratory facility and equipment according to the prescribed standards, whilst adhering to the guidelines of the Safety, Health and Environment Regulations • Maintain a quality control system in the LCRC Laboratory.
Requirements: Degree/National Diploma in Natural Science/Forensic Investigations/Criminalistic/Criminology or any NQF 6 qualifications relevant to Laboratory environment.

Forensic Analyst (Crime Scene Management)
• Eastern Cape: * Grahamstown (2) (Ref. FS 250/2011) * Maluti (2) (Ref. FS 251/2011) * Elliot (2) (Ref. FS 252/2011) * Butterworth (2) (Ref. FS 253/2011) * Fort Beaufort (2) (Ref. FS 254/2011) * Graaff-Reinett (2) (Ref. FS 255/2011) Middelburg (2) * East London (2) (Ref. FS 256/2011) * (Ref. FS 257/2011) * Mount Road (4) (Ref. FS 258/2011) * Jeffreys Bay (2) (Ref. FS 259/2011) * Provincial Task Team (5) (Ref. FS 260/2011) • Free State: * Welkom (4) (Ref. FS 261/2011) * Parkweg (6)(Ref. FS 262/2011) * Bethlehem (3) (Ref. FS 263/2011) * Kroonstad (3) (Ref. FS 264/2011) * Phuthaditjhaba (2)(Ref. FS 265/2011) * Selosesha (3) (Ref. FS 266/2011) * Sasolburg (2) (Ref. FS 267/2011) • Gauteng: * Johannesburg Central (3) (Ref. FS 268/201) * Krugersdorp (2) (Ref. FS 269/2011) * Pretoria Central (2) (Ref. FS 270/2011) * Protea Glen (2) (Ref. FS 271/2011) * Kempton Park (2) (Ref. FS 272/2011) * Sandton (2) (Ref. FS 273/2011) * Pretoria North (3) (Ref. FS 274/2011) * Vereeniging (2) (Ref. FS 275/2011) * Lyttelton (2) (Ref. FS 276/2011) * Springs (2) (Ref. FS 277/2011) * Garankuwa (2) (Ref. FS 278/2011) * Germiston (2) (Ref. FS 279/2011) • North West: * Brits (2) (Ref. FS 280/2011) * Klerksdorp (3)(Ref. FS 281/2011) * Lichtenburg (2) (Ref. FS 282/2011) * Mmabatho (3)(Ref. FS 283/2011) * Pudimoe (2) (Ref. FS 284/2011) * Zeerust (3) (Ref. FS 285/2011) * Potchefstroom (3) (Ref. FS 286/2011) * Rustenburg (3) (Ref. FS 287/2011) * Vryburg (2) (Ref. FS 288/2011) • Northern Cape: * De Aar (9) (Ref. FS 289/2011) * Upington (4) (Ref. FS 290/2011) * Springbok (7) (Ref. FS 291/2011) * Kimberley (6) (Ref. FS 292/2011) * Kuruman (4) (Ref. FS 293/2011) • Western Cape: * Provincial Task Team (6) (Ref. FS 294/2011) * Mitchells Plain (3) (Ref. FS 295/2011) * Bellville (3) (Ref. FS 296/2011) * Worcester (3) (Ref. FS 297/2011) * George (3) (Ref. FS 298/2011) * Somerset West (3) (Ref. FS 299/2011) * Paarl (2) (Ref. FS 300/2011) * Oudtshoorn (3) (Ref. FS 301/2011) • KwaZulu-Natal: * Ladysmith (2) (Ref. FS 302/2011) * Mtubatuba (2) (Ref. FS 303/2011) * Newcastle (2) (Ref. FS 304/2011) * Kokstad (2) (Ref. FS 305/2011) * Pietermaritzburg (2) (Ref. FS 306/2011) * Durban (3) (Ref. FS 307/2011) * Nqutu (2) (Ref. FS 308/2011) * Richards Bay (2)(Ref. FS 309/2011) * Ulundi (2) (Ref. FS 310/2011) * Vryheid (2) (Ref. FS 311/20110 * Port Shepstone (2) (Ref. FS 312/2011) • Limpopo: * Lephalale (1) (Ref. FS 313/2011) * Modimolle (2) (Ref. FS 314/2011) * Lebowakgomo (2) (Ref. FS 315/2011) * Thabazimbi(1) (Ref. FS 316/2011) * Thohoyandou (2) (Ref. FS 317/2011) * Musina (1) (Ref. FS 318/2011) * Polokwane (3) (Ref. FS 319/2011) * Groblersdal (1) (Ref. FS 320/2011) * Makhado (2) (Ref. FS 321/2011) * Mokopane (1) (Ref. FS 322/2011) * Phalaborwa (2) (Ref. FS 323/2011) * Tzaneen (2) (Ref. FS 324/2011) • Mpumalanga: * Ermelo (3) (Ref. FS 325/2011) * Acornhoek (2) (Ref. FS 326/2011) * Witbank (2) (Ref. FS 327/2011) * Lydenburg (2) (Ref. FS 328/2011) * Secunda (2) (Ref. FS 329/2011) * Nelspruit (2) (Ref. FS 330/2011) * Elikwatini (2) (Ref. FS 331/2011) * Kwamhlanga (2) (Ref. FS 332/2011) • National Crime Scene Management: Pretoria (2) (Ref. FS 333/2011)
Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Process crime scenes • Compile and provide related documents, such as exhibits which include, but are not limited, to fingerprints, photography plan drawing, videography forensic field work (ballistics) • Re-construct events and lead and submit evidence in court • Capture information with regard to SAPS Computerised Systems • Ensure optimal utilisation of resources.
Requirements: Degree/National Diploma in Natural Science/Forensic Investigations/Criminalistic/Criminology or any NQF 6 qualifications relevant to the Laboratory environment.

Forensic Analyst (Facial Identification)
Gauteng: Pretoria (1) (Ref. FS 334/2011) Salary level: Band B1 Notch 3: R174 264 per annum
Core functions: Compile a face with computer software from a verbal description of the witness or complainant • Provide a physical description and modus operandi of a wanted person or suspect • Sketch jewellery, other items or unidentified people to aid in the tracing of identification • Present lectures to SAPS members • Compile all applicable administrative documents and maintain resources • 2-D and 3-D facial reconstruction.
Requirements: Degree/National Diploma SAQA accredited NQF6 qualification with specification in Arts of which Fine Arts will be an advantage.

***Important General Information:

Only the official SAPS application_form (available on the SAPS website and at SAPS Recruitment Offices) will be accepted. The Z83 previously utilised will no longer be accepted

• All instructions on the application form must be adhered to, since failure to do so may result in the rejection of the application

• The application must be accompanied by all relevant certified copies of tertiary qualifications, academic record, Senior Certificate or Grade 12 Certificates, ID document, valid driver’s licence (where applicable), where applicable marriage certificate, ID of spouse and children birth certificates/ID and a detailed CV. No application will be accepted without these documents. The South African Police Service will verify the residential address and qualifications of applicants, as well as citizenship

• Reference checking will be conducted on all short-listed applicants

• The post particulars and reference number of the post must be correctly specified on the application form

• Applicants must not have been found guilty of previous criminal convictions or have left the Public Service as a result of a severance package, early retirement or medical reasons, as these applications will be rejected

• 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

• Through the filling of the abovementioned posts, applicants whose appointment will promote representivity may receive preference. If a candidate is short-listed, it can be expected of him/her to undergo a personal interview

• The South African Police Service is under no obligation to fill the post after the advertisement thereof

• Although the post is advertised, the National Commissioner may withdraw the post from the advertisement, re-advertise the post or fill the post by transferring a person at the same level where this is deemed to be in the interest of service delivery

• Applicants are advised to apply for posts closer to their residence

• Correspondence will be conducted with successful applicants only

• Late applications will not be considered

• No faxed applications will be allowed

• Applicants must submit separate applications for each post.

The closing date for applications is Friday, 2011-08-19.

Applications can be directed to:

Physical Address: 730 Pretorius Street, Sterlizia building, Arcadia, 0083.

Postal Address: Private Bag X322, Pretoria 0001,for attention: SPO SW Matsheni/SPO MP Motjelele.

Enquiries: SPO SW Matsheni/SPO MP Motjelele, tel. (012) 421-0584.

For the Provinces, applications and enquiries can be directed to the following addresses:
Gauteng Province: Johannesburg: The Provincial Head: Gauteng Province, Private Bag X19, Johannesburg 2000 or hand-deliver at Room 202, 2nd Floor, SAPS Building No 1, Commissioner Street, Johanneburg, for attention: Colonel MA Lotter Enquiries: Colonel MA Lotter, tel. (011) 497-7253

Eastern Cape Province: King William’s Town: Private Bag X7471, King William’s Town 5600 or hand-deliver at Cash Build Buildings, No 5 Cowen Close, Schornville, King William’s Town, for attention: Colonel Mpalo Enquiries: Colonel Mpalo, tel. (043) 604-6302/6303 Port Elizabeth: Private Bag X6019, Port Elizabeth 6000 or hand- deliver at Urban Donges Building, Hancock Street, North End, Port Elizabeth 6000, for attention: PO M Bradley or PO J Ntshiliza Enquiries: PO M Bradley or PO J Ntshiliza, tel. (041) 407-6706

Free State Province: Private Bag X20560, Bloemfontein 9300 or hand-deliver at corner Aliwal and Fontein Streets, Bloemfontein, for attention: Lt Col Setshego Enquiries: Lt Col Setshego, tel. (051) 507-6637/8.

KwaZulu-Natal Province: Durban: PO Box, 1965 Durban 4000 or hand-deliver at 2nd Floor, Servamus Building, 15 Ordinance Road, Durban, for attention: Capt Sighn Enquiries: Capt Sighn, tel. (031) 325-5916 Amazimtoti: PO Box 2082, Amazimtoti 4125 or hand-deliver at King Crest Building, 415 Kingsway Road, Kingsway, Amazimtoti 4125, for attention: SPO TN Dinga or SPO NL Makhubo Enquiries: SPO TN Dinga or SPO NL Makhubo, tel. (031) 904-0791

Limpopo Province: PO Box 829, Polokwane 0788 or hand-delliver at 8 Albatross Building, 19 Mark Street, Polokwane Enquiries: Capt Manya, tel. (015) 290-6797 Mpumalanga Province: Private Bag X1801, Middelburg 1050 or hand-deliver at 1st Floor, The Oak Centrum, corner Hendrik Potgieter and Cadc Streets, Middelburg, for attention: Colonel van Wyk or CAC A Carstens Enquiries: Colonel van Wyk or CAC A Carstens, tel. (013) 249-8236

Northern Cape Province: Private Bag X5001, Kimberley 8300 or hand-deliver at 3rd Floor, 33 Woodley Street, Kimberley, for attention: Lt Col Hlakanye Enquiries: Lt Col Hlakanye, tel. (053) 838-5643 North West: Private Bag X801, Potchefstroom 2531 or hand-deliver at 3rd Floor, Louis Le Grange Building, corner Peter Mokaba and Wolmarans Streets, Potchefstroom, for attention: Lt Col Knoetze Enquiries: Lt Col Knoetze, tel. (018) 299- 7067

Western Cape Province: Cape Town: Private Bag X9113, Cape Town 8000 or hand-deliver at 3rd Floor, Thomas Boydell Building, Parade Street, Cape Town Enquiries: Brigadier Jacobs or Lt Col Gouws, tel. (021) 467-6231/6240 Kuils River: Private Bag X3, Brandwood Park, Kuils River 7579 or hand-deliver at Somchem Building, A81 Reeb Road, Macassar 7130, for attention: Capt M Swart. Enquiries: Capt M Swart, tel. (021) 850-2880.

Dr. Carolyn Hancock on 702 Radio

Wednesday, June 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?

Monday, June 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.”

Murder Mystery

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Using the Murder Mystery genre in a fun-filled way to look at the serious issue of how a national DNA database can help fight crime in South Africa

The venue was Scifest Africa 2011 in Grahamstown, the plot….murder. This was the murder mystery evening played out Scifest this year.

Members of the audience question Mr Rival's heavily pregnant girlfriend Ms Wanda Urjob

Members of the audience question Mr Rival's heavily pregnant girlfriend Ms Wanda Urjob


Imagine this- it was the end of a long day at the Science-4-All Mega-Xploratorium (S4-AMX), Mr Knowledge O.F. Csi, the conscientious security officer, was doing his rounds after the last visitors had left. He paused outside Dr Noall X. Plor’s office – his finely tuned instinct told him something was wrong. He knocked, no answer, yet he knew that Dr Plor had not left the building; cautiously he opened the door. The scene that greeted him confirmed his foreboding, Dr Plor lay spread-eagled across his desk, a broken, blood-smeared wine glass lay in front of his outstretched lifeless hand, a strange smell of burning wafted towards Mr Csi.

Switch to the auditorium at Scifest Africa 2011 in Grahamstown, where an expectant real-live audience of school learners, teachers and other members of the public had come to take part in a Murder Mystery evening. Also there was an excited cast of scientists and science centre friends from around South Africa, all would be-actors and extroverts who would act out the strange and twisted goings on of the S4-AMX on the murderous night in May.

Mr Cantseeit and Dr Fori Ensik each had their own suspicions

Mr Cantseeit and Dr Fori Ensik each had their own suspicions

Professor Valerie Corfield, who created this novel way to look at crime and the use of DNA profiling to solve it, explained to the audience the science behind popular series like “CSI” and “Solving it”. She talked about the power of a national DNA database in linking suspects with their crimes and securing convictions. She also asked the audience to think about some of the societal, legal and ethical issues this technology may raise. Suddenly, a cell phone rang urgently, a message was relayed to a visibly shaken Prof Corfield – she paused, and then announced the shocking news, Dr Plor was dead. A sob from one of the audience – it was Dr Plor’s wife Mrs Angela St Clare Plor – known by many as Angst – and played by Irene of Pretoria University’s Science Centre.

The audience relaxed as they realised that this was all part of the evening’s entertainment and they strained forward, it was time to start solving the crime. The players were introduced, everyone was delighted to hear that Mama Precious Ramotswe, of the Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, was visiting from Botswana and would be happy to give advice. Curious, everyone went to the scene of the crime –which had been taped off by the well-informed and efficient Mr Csi. They surveyed the evidence and, armed with some background information about the characters in the Xploratorium that evening, they began to question the suspects.

It seemed that just about everyone had a motive to want to see the last of the hard drinking, womanising, financially insecure and increasingly inefficient Dr Plor. Had Mrs Plor had enough of his behavior? Why was she so friendly with Mr Ivor Grudge who was wrongfully dismissed from the Xploratorium? Was this Mrs Arch Rival’s chance to take over the struggling S4-AMX? Who was Mr Q. Rios Rival’s biological father and what was his pregnant and ambitious girlfriend (Ms Wanda Urjob)’s role in the events of the tragic evening? What financial shenanigans had the forensic accountant Ms Penny Fiscus uncovered and why was her partner the forensic scientist Dr Fori Ensik so jealous to finding her talking to Dr Plor earlier in the evening? Could Ms Twitter N. Bisted throw some light onto the jealousies simmering beneath the surface? Did socialite Mrs Phyll-Anne Thropicopolos and her security advisor Mr Hev E. Hitman know more than they were saying and did her friend the politician Mr Grey V. Trane have something to hide? Did the bitter and angry Mr I Les Cantseeit, who lost an eye at S4-AMX, get a chance to speak to Dr Plor? Why was the cleaning lady Mrs Busi Makleena so visibly shaken that evening?

Mr Hev E. Hitman shrugged a lot - he knew nothing

Mr Hev E. Hitman shrugged a lot - he knew nothing

The Murder Mystery was edu-tainment like you don’t get taught at school or in the science pages of the newspaper; Dr Fori Ensik could explain more about DNA forensics, Ms Fiscus could talk about forensic accounting and Mama Precious was there to share wisdom and common sense. Mr Grudge had an identical twin, he wanted to know how DNA profiling dealt with that and Mr Hev E. Hitman was not happy that his DNA was on a database already because of his previous “misdemeanors”. Mr Rival explained paternity testing and how he went about getting the samples (rightly or wrongly?) Mr Trane gave the politician’s answers to where South Africa’s national DNA database stands.

The audience questioned, probed, sought answers; small groups discussed their suspicions and went back to ask more – now and again pausing to sample some of the tasty snacks on offer! The suspects blustered, prevaricated, lied and pointed fingers at each other.

Finally everyone reassembled and wrote down who they thought did it, did they act alone, why did they do it and how did they do it? The would-be Horatio Cane’s ideas were checked, did anyone have it right? Yes, a few detectives had “sussed” it out correctly and justice would be served.

And you the reader will want to know those answers too – but you will have to come to the next Murder Mystery evening to find out who-dun-it…….

Professor Valerie Corfield