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New police commissioner commits to prioritising DNA backlog and tackling GBVF scourge

With ongoing concerns about the backlog in DNA testing at the police national forensic science laboratories, newly appointed police commissioner Fannie Masemola has committed to employing more scientists to get back on track.

He said the machines needed to process DNA samples in the country’s forensic labs had been repaired and that more effort would go into ensuring that they remained in good working condition.

Masemola said the backlog had to some extent been reduced. He said his third priority was to fight the gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) scourge, and would ensure police and police stations were geared up to assist victims.

By September last year, the backlog exceeded 240 000 cases, and last month Police Minister Bheki Cele said it would be cleared within six months.

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