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 discarded. 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
 Mar 27 2015 - Coalition conducts 17 airstrikes against ISIL in TikritKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Coalition operations in support of Iraqi Security Forces in Tikrit commenced last night after a request from the government of Iraq, the Combined Joint Task Force ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Britain to train moderate Syrian opposition in TurkeyKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Around 75 British military personnel are to be sent to Turkey and other countries in the Middle East region as part of a US military led program to train moderate ...

 Mar 27 2015 - KDIPA chief concludes successful visit to JapanKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Director-General of the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA) Sheikh Dr. Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah left here Friday after a successful ...

 Mar 27 2015 - 5 airstrikes hit ISIL targets in Syria, 24 in IraqKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US-led coalition continued to strike ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq, with a total of 5 airstrikes in Syria and a separate 24 in Iraq between 8am on March 25, ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Latest air coalition strikes target strongholds in northern, southern YemenKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Military aircraft of the 10-nation coalition intensified strikes on military positions in Yemen over the past hours, military sources confirmed.The sources said ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Saudi military command announces success of 1st phase of "Decisive Storm"Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Saudi Military Command of "The Decisive Storm Operation" said Thursday the first phase of the operations in Yemen was "fully successful." The targets ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Iraqi army succeeding in pushing back ISIL - US armyKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) launched "successful counterattacks" against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which prevented the group from ...

 Mar 27 2015 - More air raids hit Houthi targets in YemenKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Saudi-led coalition on Thursday night launched a new wave of airstrikes against targets of the Houthi rebels and the troops loyal to Yemen's ousted president ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Kuwait's 1st int'l triathlon tourney to begin SaturdayKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The first Kuwait international triathlon tournament will be held on March 28 with participation of 100 triathletes from 15 countries.Member of the Kuwait ...

 Mar 27 2015 - Airstrikes on Houthis to ensure Yemen security, say Arab statesKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Arab states taking part in a military coalition strikeforce against Houthi rebels in Yemen have said it is aimed at ensuring their national security as the West ...

more...


 






Google

Arab Advisors_12th convergence conf

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

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