Black Friday protest highlights value of DNA evidence

25 February 2013

Postgraduate students and staff in the Division of Human Genetics (which is in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences and the Institute for Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine) in Health Sciences staged a Black Friday placard protest on 15 February. This supported a call for South Africans to wear black on the day as a campaign to raise awareness of the country's high statistics of rape and violence against women. Prof Raj Ramesar (middle), Head of the Division of Human Genetics, said the event also highlighted the important work done by forensic experts and the need to educate the public on the value of DNA as "almost unfaltering evidence." This form of precious evidence either on victims or the environment is often unwittingly destroyed, decreasing the chances of perpetrators being convicted. The Division runs an honours programme in forensic genetics, and the parent Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences (DCLS) offers a master's programme in forensic sciences.

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