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WC SAPS Laboratory aims to eradicate forensic backlog by 2023

While the national DNA backlog stands at nearly 40,000 sexual offences, currently at the SAPS forensic laboratories across the country, the Western Cape Government plans to eradicate their backlog entirely before the end of the year.

On 24 August, the backlog at provincial laboratories stood at 25,290 but has now been reduced by over 10,000 samples to 15,259.

This means that since 1 October 2021, when the backlog stood at 89,158, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has worked through 73,899 samples.

“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,” said Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight, Reagan Allen. “The more the lab is able to address their backlog, the quicker perpetrators who are standing trial can be held accountable for their crimes.”

Allen added that the FSL should have all the required resources, equipment and relevant material so that the backlog could be eradicated completely by the end of this year.

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