Introducing Dr Helen B. Tumediso, PhD, New IFSA Representative for SARFS

IFSA Releases Two Minimum Requirements Documents
June 26, 2023
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Introducing Dr Helen B. Tumediso, PhD, New IFSA Representative for SARFS

Dr. B.H. Tumediso joins the IFSA team representing the Southern Africa Regional Forensic Science Network (SARFS).  She takes over where the late Dr. Paul Ludik of Namibia left off (may his soul rest in peace). Dr Ludik did a wonderful job in introducing SARFS to the international forensic science community.

Dr. Tumediso is the Director of Forensic Science Services in Botswana.  She holds an MSc in Forensic Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, an MBA and a PhD in Phytochemistry from the University of Strathclyde, UK.  She has 31 years’ experience in the field of forensic science and therefore brings to the table a perspective on forensic science from the Southern Africa region.

SARFS is a network of Forensic Science Institutes in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) economic region, which is made up of 16 countries, namely, Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Within the SADC operational structure is the law enforcement arm of the Cooperation, that is, Southern Africa Region Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) from which member institutes of SARFS emanate. SARPCCO is responsible for the prevention and combating of cross-border and transnational organized crimes.

Institutions that make up SARFS provide forensic science services to police departments and other law enforcement agencies within the SADC (SARPCCO) countries.  SARFS was established as a forum for these institutions to discuss and promote advancement of forensic science in the region. This would be achieved through; capacity building in forensic science and crime scene investigation, participation in regional and international proficiency testing and compliance to relevant international quality management standards, leading to accreditation. Furthermore, collaboration with similar forums in the African region and internationally will be pursued to help SARFS succeed in providing strategic leadership in the delivery of forensic sciences.

The network was formed in October 2008 with guidance and support from UNODC.  It was formed from the SARPCCO Forensic Science Working Group to become the face of the Working Group.