Personal identification of individuals is very important in forensic sciences. Facial identification is becoming even more relevant with increasing crime rates, problems with access control and terrorist attacks. To make facial identification more accurate, an in depth knowledge of the common and rare facial characteristics seen in various populations is needed. This will be advantageous when comparing facial photographs. Currently very little data is available on the facial variation of South Africans. Therefore the aim of this study was to analyse the facial features of a group of South African Bantu-speaking men, to determine the common and rare facial features seen in the group. Facial photographs were taken of 200 volunteers from the Pretoria Police College, in the norma frontalis position. The subjects were between 20 and 40 years of age, with no facial deformities. Thirteen measurements were taken directly from the photographs and used in 12 indices. Eight morphological features were also analysed on each face. Each feature was divided into different categories, which described variants of that feature. The metrical and morphological data were then used to create various combinations of facial characteristics that described different regions of the face. The frequency of occurrence of these combinations was calculated for the study population. The most common features were oval or inverted trapezoid facial shapes, intermediate size noses with a down-turned septum tilt and intermediate size mouths with a flat V-shaped upper lip notch (cupid’s bow). The eyes were mostly situated closely together. Some of the rare or absent features included round or square facial shapes and narrow noses with an upturned septum tilt. Matching these rare features on facial photographs will be useful during cases of disputed identification.