The purpose of Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) is to investigate of the cause of any unnatural death or sudden unexpected death. FPS is required to keep statistics on trends and these statistics are used in prevention strategies for unnatural causes of death.
The purpose of Forensic Pathology Service (FPS) is investigation of the cause of any unnatural death or sudden unexpected death.
FPS is required to keep statistics on trends and these statistics are used in prevention strategies for unnatural causes of death.
• Identification times are from 10h00 until 15h30 on weekdays.
• Telephonic enquiries can be made from 08h00 until 16h00 during weekdays.
• No funeral arrangements should be made before contacting the Forensic Pathology Service facility.
• Kindly note that all services performed at Gauteng Forensic Pathology Service are FREE and NO money is payable at this facility.
FPS Mission Statement:
We are in the business of:
– Conducting medico-legal death investigations;
– Assisting in the prevention of unnatural deaths;
– Assisting in the prevention of and fight against crime;
We aim to:
– Promote the highest practice of professional and ethical conduct;
– Develop professional standards and guidelines;
– Promote the development of a just South African society;
– Ensure the promotion of relevant education, training and research;
• Collection of bodies and evidence at death scene
• Storage of the bodies and conducting post-mortems and autopsies
• Report generation and expertise witnessing in court
The types of cases that are investigated are:
• Deaths that are suspected to be unnatural
• Road accident fatalities
• Sudden natural death and unexpected or unexplained deaths in hospital and in detention etc.
Documents needed for identification of a deceased family member:
• the deceased’s identity document, abridged birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence
• information regarding the occupation and home address of the deceased
• the identity document of the person who will be performing the identification
Further documents from Forensic Pathology Service:
• FPS will issue them with body removal form to be given to the undertaker of the family’s choice
• Identification statement from the Police investigating Officer who is investigating the case must accompany the family to the mortuary.
• An accredited undertaker can accompany the family to collect the body after identification is done.
• Only one viewing opportunity is allowed at Forensic Pathology Service, further viewings can be arranged with the undertaker to be used by the family.
• After completion of the autopsy and identification, a BI1663 document will be issued at Forensic Pathology Services to the funeral undertaker. This document must be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs to obtain a death certificate.
• Once the post mortem report is finalized, it is sent to the relevant investigating officer. A certified copy of the post mortem report can be obtained from the investigating officer if required.
Identification Process for Foreign Persons
• The deceased’s identity document, birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence
• Information regarding the occupation and home address of the deceased
• Identity document of the person who will be performing the identification
• The doctor performing the post-mortem issues a certificate for infectious diseases for transportation of the body to another country
Pauper Burial Process
• A deceased person is regarded as a pauper after in the designated facility if after 30 days the body has still not been identified.
• the body is declared “unidentified and unclaimed” and the process started for burial / cremation of the deceased as a pauper.
• during admission of the body, finger prints and photo is taken of the body for identification purposes, in some cases by the police themselves
• after seven (7) days the Police are informed that the deceased is still unknown
• After fourteen (14), twenty-one (21) days, the police are informed again
• After thirty (30) days authorization for burial is requested from the CEO of Forensic Pathology Service
• Proof of all correspondence must be attached – finger print results, radio announcements, reports by the police as to what steps they have taken to have the deceased identified and authority by them to bury.
• Finger print reports are to be given to the police as soon as we receive them
• Request for pauper burial is sent by the facility to the local council requesting burial and they appoint an undertaker and pay for the burial.