An investigation into the patterns and trends of injuries in community assault cases at the Tygerberg Forensic Pathology Facility over a 10-year period from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2012

Herbst, Celeste Ingrid (2015-04)

Thesis (MMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Background: An increase in autopsied cases of community assault fatalities has been observed at the Tygerberg Forensic Pathology Services Facility. A paucity of information exists as to the incidence and prevalence of these cases in a South African context. Objectives: To determine the patterns and trends of injuries sustained in so-called community assault fatalities. Methods: A retrospective and descriptive study was conducted. Fatal community assault cases admitted to the Tygerberg Forensic Pathology Facility over a ten year period, from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2012 were reviewed. Data was collected from autopsy/post mortem examination reports, contemporaneous notes, attached hospital records, SAPS- 180 form (completed by South African Police Services representative) and other Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) documentation. Results: A total of 424 cases of fatal community assault were admitted during the study period with an annual increase between 2004 and 2008 and a second peak from 2010 to 2012. The cause of death in majority of cases was due to multiple injuries (42%) with blunt force trauma forming the basis of most of the injuries sustained. The most prevalent areas where these assaults occurred was Khayelitsha (166 cases) and Harare (84 cases) - one of the sub-sections in Khayelitsha. Male subjects were predominantly assaulted with only one female fatality recorded. Conclusion: Adequate policing in prevalent areas is essential, to address the unnecessary loss of life and additional burden on the criminal justice system and health care services.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Agtergrond: „n Toename in die aantal sterftes na beweerde gemeenskapsaanranding is waargeneem by die Tygerberg Forensiese Patologie Dienste Fasiliteit. Min inligting in verband met die insidensie en prevalensie van sulke gevalle in „n Suid-Afrikaanse konteks is beskikbaar. Doelwit: Om die patrone en neigings van beserings geassosieer met beweerde gemeenskapsaanranding-sterftes te bepaal. Metodes: „n Retrospektiewe en beskrywende studie is uitgevoer. Gevalle van sterftes na beweerde gemeenskapsaanranding wat opgeneem is by die Tygerberg Forensiese Patologie Dienste Fasiliteit oor „n tien-jaar tydperk, vanaf 1 Januarie 2003 tot 31 Desember 2012, is hersien. Data is versamel van outopsie/post-mortem verslae, kontemporêre notas, aangehegde hospitaal-rekords, SAPD-180 vorm (wat deur „n verteenwoordiger van die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens ingevul word) en ander Forensiese Patologie Dienste (FPS) dokumentasie. Bevindinge: Oor die tien-jaar studietydperk is 424 gevalle van sterftes na beweerde gemeenskapsaanranding gesien, met „n jaarlike toename in gevalle tussen 2004 en 2008 en ‟n tweede piek in die aantal gevalle gedurende 2010 en 2012. Die oorsaak van dood in die meerderheid gevalle was as gevolg van veelvuldige beserings, met stomp geweld, die mees algemene tipe oorsaak van beserings. Die areas waar hierdie tipe gevalle mees algemeen voorgekom het, was Khayelitsha (166 gevalle) en Harare (84 gevalle) – een van die sub-seksies in Khayelitsha. In die meerderheid van gevalle is mans aangerand, en slegs een vroulike sterfte-geval is gevind. Afleidings: Voldoende polisiëring is nodig in prevalente areas om die onnodige lewensverlies en die addisionele lading op die kriminele regsisteem en gesondheidsorgdienste aan te spreek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96936
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