Watch out for her, criminals!
Pretoria - South Africa has a new breed of crime scene experts; they will make sure the scene is secured, properly managed and protected to avoid contamination.
The group includes Warrant Officer Sejeng Kgoete, the best graduate from a group that has just completed the first of its kind crime scene examiner programme.
Kgoete and 22 other officers underwent a gruelling 12-week training focusing on basic photography, applied crime scene photography, videography, plan drawing, transfer marks, forensic investigation and court procedures.
The purpose of the programme was to produce a new breed of crime scene officers who would ensure that correct evidence collected could be used in a court and ensure that criminals account for their actions.
The programme was part of the back-to-basics initiative conceived by acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.
It was designed to equip crime scene examiners with multiple tools to utilise when tending to various crime scenes. This would ensure that they accomplished more than one task when attending to a crime scene.
During the closing ceremony of the pilot programme at the SAPS Tshwane Training Academy in Pretoria, Kgoete said she was honoured. The officer from KwaMhlanga was the top performer during the programme with an average of 98%.
The 25-year-old said one of the most challenging aspects of getting through the course was adapting to the dynamic environment which characterised the programme.
“The toughest part was applying what was learned and adapting to challenging situations. I also had to adapt to working in groups; something I was not used to,” said the warrant officer.
Course co-ordinator Colonel Dalene Schoeman said it was difficult to choose the best performing officer from the group as all participants illustrated a hunger for learning and invested time and effort in the course.
Schoeman said she hoped the programme would continue beyond the current group to ensure that South Africa had competent crime scene officers.
SAPS forensic services division head Major-General Lesetja Mangale congratulated the officers on completing the course.
“Our mandate is to process crime scenes when an offence has been committed. It is crucial that a crime scene is secured, properly managed and protected to avoid contamination,” he said.