South Africa: Emergency Staff and Pathology Labs Face 'Challenges' in Dealing With SAPS

SAPS in the Western Cape came under fire again on Wednesday -- this time not from politicians or communities, but from emergency and pathology services.

The relationship between forensic services and policing in the Western Cape came under the spotlight in the provincial legislature on Wednesday morning. It was not only that relationship which came under fire, but also the relationship between police and emergency services.

"How is the relationship with SAPS (South African Police Service)?" asked Reagan Allen, Democratic Alliance member of the provincial health committee. Allen wanted to know if there were any issues the Western Cape Forensic Pathology Services had with SAPS while waiting for the police to finish collecting evidence before pathology services could remove bodies.

Pathology services director Vonita Thompson said there were "ongoing challenges that we have to manage". She said working with services such as the Provincial Police Ombudsman and the Department of Community Safety helped strengthen the gap between SAPS and the pathology services.

Thompson was among provincial forensic pathology services officials who briefed the standing committee on health. There are 17 forensic pathology services across the Western Cape.

Between April 2018 and March 2019, pathology services dealt with 11,816 cases at...

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