South African Government to Dispatch Foreign Expert and Pathologist
to Thailand for Missing South Africans Following Tsunami
African Deputy Foreign Minister Sue Van der Merwe announced on Friday 28 January
2005 that the South African Government will despatch a team of a Forensic Expert
and a Pathologist to Thailand on Saturday 29 January 2005 as part of efforts to
trace the four missing South Africans following the Tsunami Tragedy.
Minister Van der Merwe was speaking at a breakfast session held at the Sheraton
hotel in Pretoria and hosted by the Callie and Monique Strydom Trust to counsel
the Foreign Affairs Operational Centre and Consular Services Staff involved with
the search of missing and unaccounted South Africans during the tsunami tragedy.
Deputy Minister Van der Merwe indicated that the team consists of Leon
Ras, Head of the Forensic Division of the South African Police Services (SAPS)
and Prof. Hendrik Scholtz, Chief Pathologist attached to the Gauteng Government's
The decision to despatch the team to Thailand was taken
jointly by the Foreign Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in consultation with
the Minister of Health Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the Safety and Security
Minister Charles Nqakula, said Deputy Minister Van der Merwe.
Superintendent Leon Ras and Prof. Scholtz are expected to liaise with and assist
the Thailand Authorities in their Victim Identification Process with a specific
focus on the four missing South Africans. In this regard, the team has collected
from the affected families more DNA samples and other ante-mortum requirements
for the Victim Identification Process, concluded Deputy Minister Van der Merwe.
by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
28 January 2005.