The South African Police Service (SAPS) continues to take big steps towards ending the DNA backlog at our forensic service laboratories, says Police Minister Bheki Cele.
This was on Wednesday revealed by the Minister while releasing the second quarter 2022 Crime Statistics.
Addressing reporters during a press briefing, Minister Cele said: “The prioritisation project of court ready cases, where there are outstanding forensic reports, continues to gain momentum.”
He said teams from the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were working together with agility and have, to date, processed 17 410 court ready gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) cases.
“This is an increase of over five thousand cases, since the last crime statistics were released in August. The DNA backlog at all SAPS laboratories currently stands well below the 70 000 mark. This number is decreasing with each day, due to the strong interventions in place at forensic service labs countrywide,” he said.
He said while new DNA specimens were coming in for analysis, the assurance has been made to the Police Ministry that the SAPS would meet its deadline of clearing the DNA backlog.
“We have truly come a long way since the DNA backlog was first discovered at our forensic service laboratories in May 2021.
“Daily work and interventions continue, to ensure the SAPS never goes back to the dark days, where the DNA backlog reached levels of over 200 thousand cases,” said the Minister.
He said all hands were on deck to capacitate and empower the forensic service laboratories to deliver a quality service for all South Africans.
Source: South African Government News Agency