From next month, law enforcement will be able to draw on the full crime fighting might of forensic DNA, but some are concerned this new tool will overburden an already overworked SAPS.
On Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law section 36D(1) of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act.
This means that from February 1, a suspect arrested and charged with a schedule 8 offence ‒ which includes rape and murder – will be required to provide a DNA sample which will be uploaded onto the National Forensics DNA Database.
For DNA for Africa regional director Vanessa Lynch, the so-called DNA Act has been a long time coming. She has been waiting since 2020 for the president to sign it into law.
She described it as “a positive step and a good start to the year”.