Posts Tagged ‘crime’


Women’s ‘Arrest Law’: Warning

Sun, Jul 24th, 2011

Recently, we received the email below:


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 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.”

Murder Mystery

Fri, Jun 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