‘Forensic services play a vital role in solving crime’

Police say forensic services in South Africa contribute to the successful investigation of criminal work.

FILE: A vehicle of the country's Forensic Pathology Services. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The police say forensic services in the country have made huge progress when solving crimes.

Experts at a forensic services conference, hosted by the police at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), say there is a perception that there's a major backlog in solving cases using DNA.

However, they say this is untrue.

They say the identification of a South African who was killed in the Malaysian plane crash is an example of this.

The police and science experts at the CSIR agree that there is richness in the forensic environment of South Africa, as it contributes to the successful investigation of criminal work.

Authorities argued that forensics, through the work of finger prints and DNA identification, has solved numerous cases in the country.

Divisional Commissioner of Forensic Services, Khomotso Phahlane, says finger prints have also played a vital role in victim identification.

He says the recovery of the remains of the South Africans who perished in the Nigerian building collapse is an example of good work.

"We had the team that played a role in the identification of those who unfortunately died in the disaster."

The police say they are looking to establish more forensic centres across the country so cases can be dealt with more efficiently across all provinces.