Find­ings of po­lice foren­sic lab queried

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VENTER

THE DNA re­sults of a man who al­legedly raped and killed a woman were queried yes­ter­day by his lawyer, who said the Po­lice Foren­sic Lab­o­ra­tory is not in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited and this could re­flect on the ac­cu­racy of the re­sults.

Daniel Masango, 26, of Mamelodi East is fac­ing the two charges in the high court in Pre­to­ria. He pleaded not guilty to rap­ing and mur­der­ing Katlego Ndlovu in Septem­ber 2014.

The woman was in the com­pany of her boyfriend that night, when Masango gave them a lift. He dropped off her boyfriend and drove fur­ther with Ndlovu.

Her naked body was dis­cov­ered the next day in the veld near Mamelodi.

Ndlovu died of blunt force trauma to the head and man­ual stran­gu­la­tion. It was also found she had been raped be­fore be­ing mur­dered.

Masango’s DNA was al­legedly found inside the woman’s pri­vate parts.

His lawyer, Fran­cois van As, ques­tioned the value of the DNA find­ings. He said they were ques­tion­able be­cause the SAPS lab­o­ra­tory was not in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­cred­ited.

He said this might com­pro­mise the ac­cu­racy of the DNA re­sults. He said there ex­isted no as­sur­ance the lab com­plied with stan­dards guar­an­tee­ing trust­wor­thy re­sults.

Colonel Kate Si­mon as­sured the court that the work done at the lab­o­ra­tory was up to stan­dard.

She said that, although the lab is in the process of ap­ply­ing for ac­cred­i­ta­tion, there ex­isted no leg­is­la­tion re­quir­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion as a pr­ereq­ui­site for the ac­cep­tance of sci­en­tific test re­sults in le­gal pro­ceed­ings.

She said the ac­cu­racy of the re­sults could be proven in terms of the full “trace­abil­ity” of pro­cesses and ma­te­ri­als used to pro­duce a re­sult or find­ing. She also said that the equip­ment used was tested every six months.

Ac­cord­ing to Si­mon, the lab has a qual­ity man­age­ment sys­tem in place and qual­ity con­trol ex­ists at all times.

She said the SAPS sci­en­tific lab­o­ra­tory an­a­lysed be­tween 25 000 and 26 000 sam­ples of DNA per quar­ter – the high­est num­ber in the world – and the lab­o­ra­tory is up to world stan­dards.

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