FACT is a service provided by the academic staff in the Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology within the Department of Human Biology, UCT, where their expertise in biological anthropology is applied to cases of medico-legal significance (Forensic Anthropology). Cases are generally, but not limited to, highly decomposed human remains, burnt remains and radiological analyses. Within the University framework these cases are also used for teaching and research training of students in the relevant Division.
Our undertaking is to serve the community through providing a service to law enforcement. Primarily we are involved in skeletonised human cases where our aim is to provide a demographic profile on the individual including the estimation of sex, age, height-at-death and ancestry, we also examine the remains for individualising features, pathology and trauma. This profile is used by law-enforcement to assist in identifying of the individual. We also provide quality training and experiential learning experience for our students engaged in the field.
FACT may agree to, or be directed to, perform biological/forensic anthropology consultations at the request of authorised persons or organisations (“submitting agencies”), which may include the following:
- Law enforcement agencies such as Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) and Victim Identification Centre (VIC) through the South African Police Service (SAPS).
- Other national agencies engaged in law enforcement activities.
- International and foreign agencies or organisations.
- Private agencies and/or individuals (e.g. attorneys, family members and private companies) not associated with the types of agencies listed above. During the processing of such cases, the attending FACT members will be chosen at the discretion of the attending pathologist in consultation with the head of FACT.
For further information please contact the FACT manager:
For research and teaching enquiries in Forensic Anthropology contact: