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Civil society call on Ramaphosa to declare the DNA Act operational

DNA For Africa and Action Society are putting pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act – better known as the DNA Act – operational.

Almost two months after Ramaphosa signed the bill into law in December, it remains inactive. It was adopted by the National Council of Provinces without amendments in September after a 7-year process.

Once enacted, the act would compel the government to take DNA samples of schedule 8 offenders and add them to the convicted offenders’ database before the offenders are released on parole. DNA for Africa regional leader Dr Vanessa Lynch said potential serial offenders were being released back into society, some likely to offend again.

Lynch said there had been cases of convicted offenders of less serious offences being linked to over 30 cases of violent rape and murder, based on their DNA profile entered into the database.

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