International Testing of Forensic Genotyping Prototype Kit

International Testing of Forensic Genotyping Prototype Kit



South Africa harbours the highest rape incidents in the world, and sexual assault and rape cases in the entire SADC region are estimated at a minimum 55 000 cases per year. Crime scene investigations utilise DNA technology on a regular basis. In cases of rape or sexual abuse male-specific DNA can be targeted for forensic identification or exclusion of suspects. However, current test kits were not designed taking into account the genetic diversity of African males, and perform poorly in this continent. For this reason, the University of the Western Cape has designed a new male-specific DNA identification kit tailored for Africa.


The Project Involves

  • Testing of the new forensic DNA kit targeting male DNA in forensic casework in Southern Africa.
  • Commercialisation of the kit by the commercial partner, inqaba biotech.
  • Building a reference database with individual profiles from anonymous donors to assess the validity of a match (crime scene vs. suspect DNA profiles). The database will be freely available and will be updated once or twice a year. The population of this database will be subjected to quality control from contributing labs. Impact The forensic genotyping prototype kit will not only facilitate better examination of rape and sexual assault cases, but also the revision of cold cases, studies of paternal genealogies, lineages and various opportunities for bioanthropological research.


Project Team

Prof Maria Eugenia DíAmato

Co-project Leader

University of the Western Cape - South Africa


Dr Oliver Preisig

Co-project Leader

Inqaba Biotec - South Africa


Mr Butana Mboniswa

Co-project Leader

Inqaba Biotec - South Africa


Ms Mischa Fraser

Project Manager

Inqaba Biotec - South Africa


Mr Zephaniah Dhlamini

Chairman of Department of Applied Biology and Biochemistry

National University of Science and Technology - Zimbabwe


Mr David Tshotlego Sethato

Managing Director

Forensic & Allied Services (Pty) Ltd - Botswana


Mr Mohaimin Kasu

PhD Candidate - South Africa

Project Type

Flagship project

Countries involved