The Executive

2005 - 2008 

Herman Bernitz, president

Herman Bernitz is a private dental practitioner and part time senior Stomatologist in the Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Biology, University of Pretoria , South Africa . He completed his B.Ch.D in 1978, his M.Sc. (Odont) cum laude in Oral Pathology in 1996, and his Dip. Odont. cum laude in Forensic Odontology in 1998. His Ph.D in Forensic Dentistry (2004) was entitled "A Model to Determine the Individual Discrimination Potential of Numerically Analysed Dental Features in the Anterior Twelve Teeth". He lectures in Oral Pathology and Forensic Dentistry, and is manager of Forensic Dental Research. Since 1998 he has acted as forensic consultant during which time he has been involved in all aspects of Forensic Dentistry. He regularly acts as expert witness in Supreme Court cases involving tooth marks. He has attended courses/delivered papers related to forensic odontology, and has published internationally. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Forensic Odonto-stomatology.     

Vince Phillips , vice president


Vince Phillips is an oral pathologist and a forensic dentist. He has been actively involved in the practice, teaching and research in the field of forensic dentistry since 1976. He obtained his bachelor degree in dentistry at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1970 and went into private practice in Britain . He returned to RSA and set up practice in Durban. He specialized in Oral Pathology at the University of Stellenbosch in 1983 while maintaining an active forensic interest. After a visit to the United Kingdom in 1989 he coordinated a postgraduate diploma and an MSc course in forensic dentistry at Stellenbosch University . He has published numerous articles on forensic dentistry and has 2 chapters in forensic textbooks. To date he has trained 35 forensic dentists who are all in general dental practice and most of whom are on a disaster standby list. He is actively engaged in disaster management in Cape Town and is the Consultant Forensic Dentist for the Western Cape. His hobbies are golf and 4x4 game viewing.

Guy Willems, treasurer

Guy Willems finished his dental studies in 1988 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium . In 1992 he successfully defended his Ph.D.-thesis at the same university. Related to his clinical training he received the Certificate of postgraduate training in Operative Dentistry with a special emphasis on aesthetic dentistry in 1993 and the Certificate of postgraduate training in Orthodontics in 1996, both at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Since then he was enrolled for a tenure track position at the Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry , Oral Pathology and Maxillo-facial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium . He is the forensic odontologist of the Centre of Forensic Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He is founder of the Department of Forensic Odontology at the School of Dentistry , Oral Pathology and Maxillofacial Surgery, teaches forensic odontology at undergraduate and post graduate level and is coordinator of the international Master of Forensic Odontology ( He devotes a special interest to forensic dental age estimation in individuals and craniofacial reconstruciton.He is author or co-author of over 60 publications in peer-reviewed international scientific journals.

Sonja Boy, editor of the Newsletter

Sonja Boy obtained her BChD degree at the University of Pretoria in 1995.  After 2 years of running her own private practice in Pretoria , she specialized in Oral and Maxillo-Facial Pathology at the University of Pretoria .  She obtained her degree cum laude in 2001.  She is currently appointed as a senior specialist in Oral and Maxillo-facial Pathology at the University of Pretoria and is the author and co-author of several scientific publications in international and national scientific journals.  She has delivered various international and national congress presentations and is a member of several professional organisations of Dentistry, General Pathology, Maxillo-Facial Pathology as well as Veterinary Dentistry.  She is currently the course organiser of Oral Biology for pre- and post-graduate Dentistry as well as oral hygiene and promoter of several pre-and postgraduate student research projects.