News24

New SA rape kit 'like CSI'

2011-03-14 22:40

Cape Town - The rape kit developed by the University of the Western Cape's forensic lab is a quick process that will aid police in the investigation of sexual crimes.

"This technology was really needed in the country. We extract DNA form a crime scene sample and have the results in two to three days," Professor Sean Davidson told News24.

He said that the kit was developed at UWC and it closely mimics that kind of work seen on TV shows like CSI or Law and Order.

"We developed it [the kit] at UWC using our own resources. You can look at a tiny trace of DNA and identify the person.

"When we look at the Y-chromosome sequence, we can discriminate between any individual, but we need a sample from the crime scene," said Davidson.

Multiple suspects


He added that the kit was no magic bullet for every sexual assault case, but that it gave law enforcement agencies an extra tool to solve cases.

Particularly in cases of child sexual assault where there were multiple suspects from the same family, the kit might be able to narrow down suspects to the range of father, son or brother, for example.

However, the rape kit was effective in excluding suspects completely. It is similar to those made in America and Europe, but is more accurate with South Africa's population groups. The breakthrough was headed by Dr Eugenia D Amato, also of UWC.

The forensics lab had been involved in the identification of anti-apartheid activists and Davidson said that they were looking for the "greatest need" for the use of DNA technology.

"The procedure will involve the reporting of a crime and the collection of medical samples. But we also hope for the establishment of rape centres nationwide," he said.

For criminals who would question the integrity of the lab's results, especially given controversy created around Tony Yengeni when it was revealed that the former commander of the Goodwood police station, Siphiwe Hewanahad, had ordered the destruction of the docket in the former's drunk driving case, Davidson had bad news.

"We are about to get our lab ISO accredited and the results will stand up in court."


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Comments
  • therealdeal - 2011-03-15 03:06

    ANYTHING TO ASSIST TO CATCH AND PROSECUTE PERPETRATORS WOULD BE WELCOME.

  • Megan - 2011-03-15 06:08

    "Sample of a crime scene" - I am sure they could have worded this somewhat more tactfully - a rape victim being referred to as a crime scene is a bit harsh. But yes anything to catch the bastards and prosecute them effectively would be more than welcome

      alousav - 2011-03-15 13:51

      But it IS a crime scene!! Rape is a crime! No?

  • Susannomore - 2011-03-15 07:45

    Good news! Well done folks.

  • Ron - 2011-03-15 07:49

    Great work

  • Valis - 2011-03-15 08:02

    IT'S A TV SHOW PEOPLE! Good grief, how on earth can they compare real life to a tv show? It's NOT real, it's completely imaginary, made up. It bears NO relation to reality.

  • MrT - 2011-03-15 08:31

    "When we look at the Y-chromosome sequence, we can discriminate between any individual, but we need a sample from the crime scene,"????????/ Won't our government have an issue with the discrimination? Haha

  • Rooikat - 2011-03-15 08:56

    Well done - we need stuff like this in a country where rape is far too common.

  • coronat_opus - 2011-03-15 09:46

    They can also proofread this article "form" instead of "from" - "This technology was really needed in the country. We extract DNA form a crime scene sample and have the results in two to three days," Professor Sean Davidson told News24. This sentence could have also been worded better: "However, the rape kit was effective in excluding suspects completely. It is similar to those made in America and Europe, but is more accurate with South Africa's population groups. The breakthrough was headed by Dr Eugenia D Amato, also of UWC. This is a bit vague, the sentence is hanging: For criminals who would question the integrity of the lab's results, especially given controversy created around Tony Yengeni when it was revealed that the former commander of the Goodwood police station, Siphiwe Hewanahad, had ordered the destruction of the docket in the former's drunk driving case, Davidson had bad news. Who said this? This is an inadequate manner to end an article - "We are about to get our lab ISO accredited and the results will stand up in court."

      MathMania - 2011-03-15 23:23

      You can add 'The 'breakthrough' is a complete farse and simply an advertising ploy for UWC. There is nothing new in CSI kits and DNA analysis in SA. SAPS Forensic Laboratory DNA analysis is second to none in the world. Duncan should get his facts straight before publishing such rubbish.

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-03-15 09:53

    it should of be used during the JZ rape trail

  • DownTheDrain - 2011-03-15 10:05

    It's about time someone came up with something useful to catch these thugs. Now if only we could convince the government that our jails are to cushy and that these vermin need to do something productive while being locked up.

  • Nonkululo Phephu - 2011-03-15 10:28

    Thank you very much Dr Eugenia D Amato, SA needs more people of your calliber especially in government...people who care. This evil has to be stopped.

  • alousav - 2011-03-15 13:50

    You will need thousands of these kits as there seem to be thousands of rapists running around in good old SA. Good for you anyway UWC.

  • Jennifer - 2011-03-15 14:29

    This is great, now all that needs to happen is to catch these rapists and find them guilty!!!!

  • MathMania - 2011-03-15 23:11

    This report is a joke. The South African Police Service have developed and been using CSI kits for more than 15 years. SAPS also has also developed and implemented a fully robotic DNA analysis system in 2008 (a world first). These quacks seem to think that because they are at a university that whatever they do is new and of value. They are 15 years behind and have no idea of the real world. The CSI kit is not the most important thing. There is no substitute for good training and experienced dedicated career oriented investigators. This is where SA is lacking due to the bad SAPS promotional policies.

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