A Graaff-Reinet police fingerprint expert who became the first officer in the country to lift fingerprints from an eggshell leading to the positive identification of a suspect, received a standing ovation from national and provincial police top brass this week.
The work of Constable Johan Theron from the Graaff-Reinet police cluster was commended by the national head of criminal record and crime scene management Major General Lesetja Mangale at the division’s awards ceremony at Mpekweni Resort yesterday.
Theron won second prize in the Crime Scene Expert (LCRC) of The Year category.
“This province continues to break new ground and officers continue to go the extra mile in their work. We salute you for that,” said Mangele.
Another first for the country, according to Mangele, was the work done by an East London detective who lifted fingerprints from the remains of a skinned cow.
Commenting on the sidelines of the event, Eastern Cape provincial police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci said if it were not for Theron’s work, the suspect would not have been found and arrested.
The suspect left his fingerprints on the eggshell after breaking into a Murraysburg house in Graaff-Reinet where he prepared himself breakfast before fleeing with his loot.
Theron said he processed the eggshell on the scene and took photos before sending them to the lab.
Warrant Officer JJ Schoeman from the Middleburg crime scene investigation unit then ran the fingerprints in the database and linked the suspect to the scene.
Schoeman walked away with the Automated Fingerprint Identification System Expert of the Year award. – firstname.lastname@example.org
WINNERS in the different categories were:
Admin Employee of the Year: AH Stein;
Support Employee of the Year: SE Mqakelana;
Cleaner of the Year: T Jiya;
Sportsman of the Year: Lieutenant-Colonel IE Makung;
Mentor of the Year: Warrant Officer Khandeni;
Facial Composition Official of the Year: Warrant Officer Siphe Potelwa;
Crime Scene Investigator of the Year: Warrant Officer N Vesele;
Crime Scene Expert (LCRC) of the Year: Constable M Malila;
Crime Scene Expert (CSI) of the Year: Warrant Officer KC Swaartbooi;
Laboratory Technician of the Year: Warrant Officer N Mabungela;
Criminalistic Bureau of the Year: Warrant Officer LW Ntsada;
Automated Fingerprint Identification System Expert of the Year: Warrant Officer JJ Schoeman;
Team of The Year: PE CSI;
LCRC Commander of the Year: Lieutenant-Colonel JB Le Roux
Explosive Commander of the Year: Captain KB Mtshali;
CR and CSM Commander of the Year: Colonel N Zweni