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Rights of millions trampled, safety threatened as government drags feet over DNA bill

The rights of millions of South Africans have been jeopardised by the government's failure to pass a four-year-old bill that would have compelled police to take DNA samples from violent criminals before they were paroled.

This is the view of activists and politicians in the wake of justice and security minister Ronald Lamola's admission before parliament on Wednesday that 96,875 prisoners, jailed for Schedule 8 offences, had been released since 2016 without their DNA being taken.

Schedule 8 offences under the terms of the Criminal Procedure Act include violent crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault, kidnapping, culpable homicide and robbery.

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