Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

S. Africa to fight crime with new DNA law  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 22/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN -Arab News) JOHANNESBURG: It took a distraught Lindie Mdluli several days to summon the courage to go to a South African police station after she was raped in 2007. When she got there, Mdluli says that police officers didn?t discuss the kind of investigative DNA work that she had seen on television detective shows

?Nobody told me about crime-scene DNA,? said 37-year-old Mdluli, whose assailant was arrested but later released. ?From watching TV, I thought they were going to ask for my clothes, but nobody asked.

Mdluli?s story of failed opportunities to build a criminal case is common in South Africa, which struggles with high rates of rape and murder. In a rare bright spot, a new law will expand a state DNA database used to fight crime by compelling police to take samples from convicted offenders as well as suspects in crimes ranging from homicide to theft, a major undertaking that will test the nation?s troubled police force

Dozens of countries have legislation similar to the so-called DNA Act, which was signed by President Jacob Zuma on Jan. 27. The goal is to match more offenders, including many who break the law more than once, with their crimes, exonerate the wrongly accused and crack cold cases. It will take a while to implement nationwide. Some 100,000 police are to receive training in the collection of genetic evidence; education starts in April and is expected to last five years

While South Africa?s forensic experts are highly skilled, police on the beat have been tarnished by cases of corruption, mismanagement and even violent crimes. Last year, a South African magistrate harshly criticized a police detective for shoddy work in the murder investigation of Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee athlete who says he killed his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder in his home. Pistorius? murder trial starts March 3

Last week, top South African police officials said they were committed to enforcing the DNA Act during a forensic science conference in Pretoria, the capital

Activist and lawyer Vanessa Lynch said of skepticism of the police: ?I just want to put a positive spin, instead of it becoming a mudslinging match against the police.

Lynch co-founded the DNA Project, an advocacy group that campaigned for the new South African law, after her father, John, was killed in his Johannesburg home in 2004

His clothes, a potentially valuable source of DNA samples, were discardd. Police did not take DNA samples from bottles from which the attackers had been drinking before the murder. Family and friends cleaned up the crime scene before investigators arrived, inadvertently destroying evidence



The new law will give rape victims, including children, ?a voice to speak for them,? said Mdluli, the rape victim who was a panelist at a Johannesburg conference last week on the measure. She recalled her discomfort at pitting her word against her alleged assailant, a man she knew, without the support of DNA evidence. She eventually dropped the case

Another woman at the conference, Karen Howell, immediately had DNA samples taken after she was raped in 2011 in her Johannesburg home, set up a neighborhood network to track her two assailants, called police to arrest one of the men after she saw him walking in a street and hounded police until they put a more responsive investigator on her case. Last year, the two attackers received lengthy jail terms

?I had to help the police, help educate the police, even the courts,? Howell said

South African police recorded about 66,000 sexual offenses between April 2012 and March 2013. A separate 2010 study in Gauteng, South Africa?s most populous province, concluded that only one in 25 rapes was reported to the police. The research, conducted partly by the South African Medical Research Council, also said one in four women in the province has experienced sexual violence

The test under the new DNA law is as simple as a Breathalyzer test, requiring a swab inside the cheek that takes half a minute. Police must deliver a DNA sample to a lab within 30 days of taking it, and the law has another 30 days to analyze it and load it onto the database. A backlog of cases could also balloon as laboratory technicians try to cope with a flood of new DNA data

Currently, the DNA database of the South African police has 180,000 profiles, in a country of about 53 million people. Lynch said the collection of several million profiles would make it far more effective

Getting samples has already proven effective

Last week, a state prosecutor asked an alleged rapist in a Johannesburg trial why his DNA samples were found on a 4-year-old girl whose body was left hanging on a hook in an abandoned building, The Star newspaper reported. It quoted the suspect, Modise Motapane, as saying: ?I don?t know.

On Monday, Motapane was sentenced to life in prison.

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 9 2016 - UAE packaging paper industry to grow by 5pctMENAFN
(MENAFN) UAE paper and packaging industry is increasing fast in the MENA region, reaching a market valued at USD2.3bn and will remain an annual growth rate of 5 percent till 2019.Meanwhile, Paper ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar aims USD13bn investment in infrastructure projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar is ready to pump almost USD13bn on mega infrastructure projects in the country in the coming year with a main focus on projects related to the FIFA World Cup 2020.Moreover, the country ...

 Dec 9 2016 - GCC, UK confirm to make closer tiesMENAFN
(MENAFN) A mutual summit between GCC leaders and British Theresa May confirmed to launch the GCC-UK Strategic Partnership to enhance relations in all fields.Moreover, UK will spend more than 3bn euro ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar expected to have 912,000 cars by 2020Gulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The number of passenger cars in use in Qatar is expected to reach about 912,000 units by 2020, registering the highest annualised growth of 5.4% in the Gulf Co-operation Council ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Prime Minister condoles with Moroccan PMGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani held a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of Morocco Abdelilah Ben ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar believes in protecting religious freedom: MinisterGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi chaired Qatar's delegation to the Ninth Bali Democracy Forum, which kicked off in Bali, Indonesia, ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar- Commercial Bank participates in prestigious CSR conferenceGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Commercial Bank, Qatar's first private bank, has participated at the annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Conference for organisations in Qatar. The CSR Conference, ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar- Prime Minister honours persons with disabilitiesGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani attended a ceremony held by national institutions to support persons with ...

 Dec 9 2016 - MEC recalls KIA Optima 2016 modelGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced a recall of Kia Optima, model year 2016, due to a noise in the right front axle drive shaft. The recall is being ...

 Dec 9 2016 - Qatar- Ooredoo urges public to download 'Inland Sea' applicationGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Ooredoo has urged those who travel or camp at the Inland Sea to download its recently-updated desert navigation app as the camping season comes to full swing. The ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help