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Western Cape courts strike over 200 cases off the roll due to DNA backlog, stalled investigations

A backlog of DNA samples is piling up at SAPS' forensic science laboratory in the Western Cape. Courts in the province have struck more than 200 cases off the roll in three months.

This was due to incomplete investigations caused by delays in processing DNA evidence at the lab.

More than 200 cases of violent crimes, including rape and murder, have been struck off the court roll in the Western Cape due to incomplete investigations, some caused by delays in processing DNA evidence at the provincial SAPS' forensic science laboratory (FSL).

This was revealed in the Western Cape Department of Community Safety's latest Court Watching Briefs report. According to the report, the cases were struck off the roll between 1 July and 30 September 2022.

Of these cases, 64 (30%) were gender-based violence (GBV) matters such as rape, sexual assault, attempted murder and other contact crimes that depend on the results from the lab, MEC Reagen Allen explained in a statement on Sunday.

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