A recent visit to the Western Cape South African Police Services’ (SAPS) by the provincial ministry of community safety and policing Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) shows that the reduction in the DNA backlog is making steady progress.
Since 24 August, when the backlog stood at 25 290 it has, as at 23 November, been reduced to 15 259. This is a reduction of 10 031 in the backlog. In fact, it means that since 1 October 2021, when the backlog stood at 89 158, the FSL has worked through 73 899 samples.
Minister of community safety and policing Reagen Allen said: “The continued manner in which the FSL is working through the backlog is encouraging. Eradicating this backlog is paramount, as these samples are vital in cases of sexual assault, murders and various other matters. The more the lab is able to address their backlog, the quicker perpetrators who are standing trial can be held accountable for their crimes. With SAPS moving a step closer to eliminating the backlog, it means that the possible secondary trauma experienced by the victims, in the judicial process, who might be waiting for an extended period for their matter to be finalised, is reduced.”