By IOL Reporter 2h ago
DURBAN – In celebration of women’s month, the South African Police Service celebrates its women in blue who often push the boundaries of misconceptions and gender expectations to create a voice for themselves in a male-dominated industry.
Meet 42-year-old crime scene expert, Lieutenant-Colonel Lindiwe Khuzwayo. She is one of 387 female crime scene examiners in the country and is based at the Crime Scene Management Unit in Pretoria.
Khuzwayo has 16 years of service, having joined the organisation in 2006. She holds a Master’s degree in Science (MSc) as well as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).
As a crime scene expert, Khuzwayo is exposed to various types of crime scenes – from murder incidents, excavation of shallow graves, post-mortems, rape cases, to robberies and various other cases.
The role of a crime scene expert is to attend to crime scenes for the purpose of documenting, collecting, preserving, packaging and transportation of forensic evidence.
Crime scene experts also reconstruct crime scenes and examine forensic evidence towards linking perpetrators to the incident. Such evidence is collected and taken through to the Forensic Science Laboratories for further analysis.
To qualify as a crime scene expert, operational members or individuals from external environments must be in possession of a degree or diploma in natural science or forensic investigation.
Following their appointment into a post, they undergo further training for a minimum of two years, whereupon they then qualify as crime scene experts.
Khuzwayo finds pleasure in her job when the forensic evidence she collects from crime scenes results in a conviction of perpetrators in the court of law, thus ensuring justice for the victims of crime.
“My line of work requires a dedicated, bold and determined person to perform such duties with ease and professionalism. I therefore encourage the youth of this country to join the service with the aim of making our country a safer place,” she said.
During the years of experience in crime scene processing that led to her expert status, Khuzwayo has managed to process a number of cases where perpetrators were taken to court and ultimately convicted.
“Through securing life imprisonment sentences in some of these cases, the member has ensured that perpetrators of crime no longer pose a threat to their victims and all people in South Africa and for that, we salute this woman in blue for putting her country first,” a SAPS spokesperson said.