Physical evidence is the silent witness in criminal cases which is why it should not be contaminated and why the chain of custody is vital. Read our article published from p20 in Servamus: August 2021 to learn more about evidence and the story it tells.
The reconstruction of a crime scene is a vital step to give the court an idea of what happened at a crime scene. Our article published from p34 in Servamus: August 2021 explains what the process entails.
Various role-players from within the SAPS can help to provide specialised information about the scene, the victim and the suspect at a crime scene. Our article published from p23 in Servamus: August 2021 highlights these role-players.
By Annalise Kempen
Information provided by Dr Shakeera Holland
Television series have played a significant role in creating public interest about forensic science and the investigation of crime. Unfortunately, the timelines and ideal conditions that are created in many of these programmes in which these television forensic scientists work, are often worlds apart from what forensic practitioners deal with in reality. One of the aspects that usually forms part of the storylines is the post-mortem examinations that are performed on deceased victims. And while many of us may find the process disgusting and nauseating, it is one of the most important aspects in revealing the truth about the cause of a person’s unnatural death through to the application of forensic science.
Collecting evidence to put the puzzle together
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Despite Hollywood’s portrayal in numerous television programmes, crime scene investigation is a difficult and time-consuming task that cannot be completed in a couple of minutes. Crime scene investigation should be done correctly and while paying attention to the detail from the start, as there is no such luxury as to continue with the processing of a crime scene for days on end. The purpose of crime scene investigation is to establish what happened when the crime was committed, to identify the responsible person by carefully documenting the conditions at a crime scene and recognising all relevant physical evidence. All of these elements can put together the puzzle so that justice can be served.
Compiled by Annalise Kempen
Fire and water - two elements of nature that result in opposite reactions: when one stares at a firepit or a bonfire and listens to the sound of water such as a waterfall or waves breaking, it typically makes one calm and relaxed. Yet, these same two elements have caused the greatest kinds of destruction on our planet and are two elements that no motorist would ever want to encounter while driving.
The first step to ensure justice for victims
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Every crime scene tells a story which is why it is of utmost importance that proper crime scene management is implemented to prevent the destruction of any evidence that might be found at a scene. A crime scene should always be treated as “holy ground” simply because it is the first step in bringing justice to crime victims.