From next week the government will be able to take DNA samples of those convicted of Schedule 8 offences and add them to the convicted offenders’ database before they are released on parole.
This after Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that the much-awaited Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act 2022, referred to as the DNA Act, will come into operation on March 3.
Schedule 8 offences include murder, rape, serious assault, theft, kidnapping and public violence, among others. The law also provides for the expansion and administration of a database enabling the police to match forensic DNA profiles derived from samples collected at crime scenes with forensic DNA profiles of offenders. The bill was adopted by the National Council of Provinces in September last year, without amendments, and President Cyril Ramaphosa signed it into law in December.