Health & Wellness MEC pleased with progress of Observatory Forensic Pathology Institute

The Western Cape’s Health & Wellness MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo has welcomed the progress made to the Observatory Forensic Pathology Institute (OFPI)

Mbombo conducted an oversight visit to the site on 2 September.

This new Institute will replace the Salt River mortuary, which was built during 1954. The R280 million, OFPI is a three-story building, larger, modern and will have better integration of work of Provincial Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) and that of National Laboratory Services, together with facilities to support the University of Cape Town’s academic training field.  This joint venture between the Western Cape Department of Health and the Department of Public Works, will provide Level 4 forensic services aimed at not only “storing” remains but extracting, analyzing, and preserving the integrity of evidence, in support of the medico-legal investigation of death in support of the criminal justice system.

The MEC said the three-storey building is currently undergoing the final stages of practical completion, with all works, including snags, due to be finalized in February 2023.

“This investment will ensure we are able to expand our service offering to include a wider range of high end services such as toxicology-, molecular-, and dental laboratories services, to identify cause of death”.

 “We are adamant to deliver quality services because we know that they will also help solve crimes, an issue that we as a provincial government are tackling head on. With this top end service, we can drive the connection between criminals and crime, resulting in more convictions and a strong message to criminals that in our province, crime has consequences”

Mbombo called on the contractors to have the snags fixed with a level of urgency. With an estimated amount of 4 000 admissions per year being received, FPS officials conduct 20 autopsies per day.

‘’With the constant case increase in the Western Cape, the new facility comes with additional dissection areas and has viewing rooms that are on an international standard. The objective is to make the identification process for families as gentle as possible. A garden space and reflection space will be available to family members who identify the bodies of the deceased.’’


PICTURE: Western Cape Government

Done By: Mitchum George


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