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2023/09/04      |  Written By:  Brigadier A Mathe   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

Gqerberha: 31 August 2023 - The President of the Republic of South Africa (RSA), His Excellency, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa has officially opened the newly expanded SAPS DNA analysis Laboratory in Gqerberha.  The expansion of the DNA Lab is set to bolster efforts in DNA analyses in the best interest of victims of crime, particularly Gender Based Violence and Femicide related crimes.

Ever since the upgraded facility became functional in February this year, over 6 000 DNA samples have been processed.

Based on the volumes of crime that require DNA investigation, the Biology section had to expand its scientific scope by including DNA analysis which will enable the organisation to address an average case volume of 800 cases per month. These are cases which used to be processed in other laboratories. This simply means, this lab will ease the burden of other service points.

President Ramaphosa says the expansion of the DNA lab is a step in the right direction in solving cases timeously.

“The objective of this expansion is therefore to enhance and improve on service delivery by bringing services closer to the people of this province, but most importantly to also ensure that cases are processed timeously to ensure succesful convictions. With this new and enhanced capacity in the Eastern Cape Forensic Science Laboratory, the SAPS guarantees quicker turnaround times especially in relation to the investigation of Gender Based Violence and Femicide”, said President Ramaphosa.

The South African Police Service has four laboratories in the country and their function is to process crime exhibits, which is evidence collected from a place where a crime has been committed.

The first Forensic Services unit within the country was established within the South African Police Service in Silverton, Pretoria and since then, the lab has been rendering forensic services nationally for all our 1156 police stations across the country. This lab renders all six disciplines within the Forensic Science Laboratory which are as follows:


🧪Ballistics(a process where our ballistics experts conduct firearm analysis)

🧪Biology(a process where our experts confirms the biological fluid collected from crime scene)

🧪Chemistry (a process where our experts specialise in drug analysis , fire investigation and poison analysis)

🧪Question Document (a process in which our experts conduct fraudulent documentation analysis for example analysing troves of documents for fraudulent signatures)

🧪Scientific Analysis ( a process in which  our experts analyse precious metals such as gold, animal DNA and image analysis) as well as

🧪Victim Identification ( a process in which our experts confirm family relations from mass disasters such as the KZN floods).

Over and above rendering services for the country, the Pretoria lab also provides drug analysis, DNA analysis and ballistic services to the following SADC countries.

The second lab is situated in the Western Cape and just like the Pretoria lab, this lab also renders all six scientific disciplines.

The third lab is in Kwa-Zulu Natal and specialises  in Ballistics, Biology, Chemistry and Question Documents.

The Eastern Cape laboratory  in Gqerbhera has been in existence since 1996 and has been rendering all disciplines with an exception to the Biology section, which was only performing evidence recovery analysis.

The  construction of this upgraded facility which commenced in 2021 under the Covid-19 Lockdown, was completed at least six months ahead of the projected completion time as well as below budget. This displays the implementation and alignment of best practices in project management.

A women in law enforcement parade was also held to honour and celebrate women in various government departments within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS).

Mr Cyril Ramaphosa has officially opened the newly expanded SAPS DNA analysis Laboratory.