Justice denied to tens of thousands of victims of crime due to an increase in the backlog of DNA tests in Gauteng
30 August 2021
Justice has been delayed to thousands of victims of violent crimes due to an increase of DNA tests backlog. The backlog has doubled in Gauteng compared to the previous financial year.
The SAPS’s failure to timeously process DNA tests is causing this backlog and creating so much more unnecessary pain for victims, and the families of victims who wish for justice and to close a horrible chapter in their lives.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, in an oral reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Mazibuko, there has been an increase in the backlog of DNA tests in Gauteng from 20 132 in 2019/20 to 46 595 in the 2020/21 financial year.
This is unacceptable and indicates that there was no work done or less work was done with regards to the DNA tests.
MEC Mazibuko stated that there is a recovery plan by the laboratory including working with the National Prosecuting Authority to prioritise urgent cases.
The recovery plan by the laboratory is ineffective, and it is evident through the number of backlogs of DNA tests in Gauteng.
The DNA tests backlog will result in delays in prosecutions, possibly leading to cases being struck off the roll due to no evidence produced in court.
MEC Mazibuko must liaise with her national counterpart, Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to review the current laboratory recovery plan as it has not yet yielded positive results.
The DA demands that new measures are put in place to ensure that the backlog is cleared and that the DNA tests are completed in a timeous manner.
By reducing the DNA tests backlog, we will ensure that the police and NPA start working to bring justice to the victims and their families. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Issued by Michael Shackleton, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety, 30 August 2021