AS IT HAPPENED: Van Breda defence questions forensic analysis

2017-08-10 09:54

The murder case against Henri Van Breda resumes in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town.


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Last Updated at 06:31
10 Aug 15:53
Court is adjourned to tomorrow.

10 Aug 15:49
Otto says samples below the standard cannot be ignored. Input DNA is too low, amplification kits used to deal with very little amounts.

10 Aug 15:16
Adv Combrink now taking the witness through SOPs (Standard Operating Proceedures).

10 Aug 14:57
Otto at pains to explain to Combrink that her outcome was according to the SOPS and evidential value.

10 Aug 14:56
He said her result in the test was wrong.

10 Aug 14:55
Combrink is going through a past proficiency test which Otto took.

10 Aug 14:35
How is your competency verified, Combrink asks Otto? She says her training, mentorship had been done many years ago. She has been declared competent, Otto says. To confirm her proficiency, she undergoes one test a year,  either internal (national) or external (international).

10 Aug 14:27

10 Aug 14:26
Court is back in session.

10 Aug 14:23
(Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Jaco Marais)

10 Aug 12:47
Court adjourns for lunch

10 Aug 12:24
Otto now taking Combrink though the paper trail of one sample, as an example.

10 Aug 12:20
Combrink apologises for tedious line of questioning but 'it needed to be done'. He now enters new documents into court.

10 Aug 12:06
She says she mentioned non-conformance and when it is picked up that SOPs weren't followed.

10 Aug 12:05
Combrink says Otto told the court if an SOP not followed, the sample is out.

10 Aug 12:05
Otto getting visibly frustrated with the defence, telling Combrink that they are going in circles.

10 Aug 12:02
Nothing has gone wrong in the 216 samples of the case as they were done in isolation, Otto says. 

10 Aug 11:58
When she gets a full result, she doesn't have any reason to doubt the outcome due to all the SOPs, Otto insists.

10 Aug 11:48
Kits used in SAPS lab are bought from US companies, used in labs all over the world. Jusge Desai jokingly asks if its the same ones used on CSI.

10 Aug 11:41
Court is back in session. Otto confirms where was a lot of blood on crime scene, no trouble finding DNA.

10 Aug 11:13
Court breaks for tea.

10 Aug 11:07
Otto says the lab is state of the art. Walk in fridge where samples are kept have designated areas.

10 Aug 11:05
Only one analyst dealt with that worklist containing swab 63, Otto says.

10 Aug 10:56
In this case under pressure, some of the batches may have contained a number of samples from this case. But it is usually spread out

10 Aug 10:55
Want to watch the trial live? Stream it below. 

10 Aug 10:54
How long does it take to when process starts to when one gets a final result? Anything from a week to a month, Otto says. Processed with many cases, in batches. Have to wait for all to be completed and analysed.

10 Aug 10:52
Otto now explaining the SOPs.

10 Aug 10:44
Captain Joubert's office is in a different wing, but uses a small lab area in their department.

10 Aug 10:44
At least 20 work on the Van Breda case, Otto says.

10 Aug 10:43
FSL  biology section has under 60 people, including admin staff.

10 Aug 10:43
Combrink references programmes like CSI as most people's idea of what a FSL (forensic science lab) looks like, Combrink says this is not an accurate depiction.

10 Aug 10:37
Combrink questions why SOPs are not for public dissemination.

10 Aug 10:37
Forensic anthropologist Sharlene Otto. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Jaco Marais)

10 Aug 10:36

Swab 63 paper trail requested, which she has today.

Informs court she brought the requested sample's paper work, which was rejected as it wasnt human blood. This was the suspected spot of blood found on the laundry door.

10 Aug 10:31
Court is in session. Combrink resumes his cross examination Lt Col Sharlene Otto.

10 Aug 10:03

10 Aug 09:57

SAPS forensics lab reliable - chief analyst in Van Breda trial

Even though the police’s forensic science laboratory is not accredited, it doesn’t make their results less reliable, chief forensic analyst Lieutenant Colonel Sharlene Otto told the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday

10 Aug 09:57

10 Aug 09:57

Need to catch up?

10 Aug 09:56

De Zalze: 10 things you have to know

It’s been more than two years since the Van Breda family were gruesomely murdered in their home.

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