Article by Kotie Geldenhuys; photos provided by the VIC
Victim identification is the process of determining the identity of a person who was killed in a disaster or a victim of a crime or to determine whether an unidentified body was that of a person who was reported as missing. Victim identification is also a process that helps families and friends find closure following the death of a loved one and is a vital aid during criminal investigations. Moreover, it is a fundamental human right for every individual to have a name and identity and to be treated with dignity and respect even in death.
Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys
Benjamin Franklin said that there are only two things certain in life, namely death and taxes, and yet, many people are uncomfortable when talking about death. When the concept of assisted death is added to a conversation, many people will find an excuse not to participate. But have you ever thought about living in chronic pain and/or with a life-threatening illness where no treatment is able to bring any relief while life is slowly slipping away from you? In such a scenario the option of having a doctor to help you end your life and save you from this intolerable suffering suddenly becomes an option to consider.
By Annalise Kempen
Forensic science and the application thereof have become more familiar to the public mostly due to television programmes such as the infamous CSI and NCIS that feature some of the forensic methods commonly used to solve crime. We have also become accustomed to the fact that forensic experts such as those on ballistics or forensic psychologists can be called to testify during a court case on matters pertaining to their field of expertise. And yet, despite seeing more about forensic science on our television screens, not everyone understands what this form of science entails. That is why it is important to remind our readers that "forensic science is the use of scientific methods or expertise to investigate crimes or examine evidence that might be presented in a court of law. Forensic science comprises a diverse array of disciplines, from fingerprint and DNA analysis to anthropology and wildlife forensics" (NIST, nd).
By Kotie Geldenhuys
The kidnapping of the four Moti brothers on 20 October 2021 from Polokwane in Limpopo, while they were on their way to school, by a gun-wielding gang sounded like something from a movie. Especially since the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of R50 million. Three weeks later the R50 million ransom was allegedly paid and the boys were released. Soon after the release of the four brothers, the Moti family relocated to Dubai. Details of the reason behind the kidnapping were not revealed, but the police believe that a Moti family member was involved in an illicit money transfer deal that had gone wrong. The aggrieved party then apparently responded by kidnapping the boys. The family's failure to cooperate with the investigation, raised suspicions that there was more to this kidnapping than initially met the eye (Mashego, 2022). While this case might seem like something from a movie, incidents like these have become more common in South Africa.