Findings of police forensic lab queried
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.