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ISHI Report: Spotlight on DNAforAfrica

In September 2017 in South Africa, Sikhangele Mki was sentenced to 15 life terms and an additional 120 years. The Court referred to Mki as “a monster lurking in the shadows - attacking, robbing and raping girls, exploiting the vulnerability of his unsuspecting victims - whose crimes fell into the category of the most serious cases this court has ever dealt with”.

The breakthrough in the investigation happened when Mki was arrested and convicted for an unrelated charge of common assault in 2014. Whilst serving time for this in prison and in terms of the recently passed DNA Act in South Africa in 2015, police were mandated to collect DNA samples from all convicted offenders retrospectively, and run the resultant forensic DNA profile through their national DNA database for a comparative search. In this case, it contained the DNA profiles of an unknown male in 30 separate rape cases and this is what ultimately linked Mki to the unsolved rapes, although the DNA sample was collected for a less serious and unrelated crime.

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