Police minister Bheki Cele says the DNA backlog has almost been cleared.
The backlog of more than 241,000 had been reduced to 1,600. “This is a 99.3% reduction in the country’s DNA backlog figures,” Cele said at the release of crime statistics for the third quarter of the 2022/2023 financial year on Friday.
The building and capacitation of a forensic laboratory in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape had been completed and would relieve pressure on the Western Cape laboratory.
“As of today [Friday], the SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority project has resulted in 25,599 prioritised gender-based violence and femicide [GBVF] related court-ready cases which have been successfully enrolled.”
Cele said the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, also referred to as the DNA Act, will come into effect on March 3.
The act was a crucial weapon in the fight against GBVF, specifically in the identification of offenders. “This legislation will remove serial rapists from our streets,” Cele said.