/ 28 January 2009

Forensic analyst admits erring on Motata’s blood

The forensic analyst who assessed Judge Nkola Motata’s blood-alcohol content on Wednesday admitted to ignoring scientific standards when analysing his blood samples.

He said this during cross-examination by defence advocate Danie Dorfling in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.

”Do you agree with me that what you did, you ignored the CSIR [Counsel for Scientific Industrial Research] standards?” Dorfling asked Logan Govender.

In response, Govender said: ”That’s correct.”

By using the wrong temperature, wrong density of water and wrong volume of liquid, Govender admitted he arrived at the wrong formula, which affected the blood-alcohol percentages he got.

Giving evidence in court in November last year, he testified that the sample he analysed recorded a concentration of alcohol in the blood of 0,2g per 100ml. The legal limit is 0,05g per 100ml.

On Wednesday he said a mix-up of files in the Johannesburg forensic laboratory was to blame as the ”wrong batch number was added to Motata’s certificate [files]”.

”It is obvious that I wrote the wrong volume from the different certificates,” he said.

Further probing him, Dorfling asked: ”You erred on the batch number and the alcohol concentration…?”

Govender replied: ”Yes.”

The trial continues. — Sapa