Mon, 12 Apr 2021

  • More than R250 million has been set aside for the police to clear a massive DNA testing backlog.
  • This will include the processing of the National Prosecuting Authority's priority cases.
  • In November last year, Police Minister Bheki Cele told the Portfolio Committee of Police that the backlog amounted to 117 738 cases.

More than R250 million has been allocated toward efforts to clear a DNA testing backlog.

National police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said the R250 million would be allocated to the South African Police Service's baseline budget to prioritise DNA processing, according to the SABC.

This will include the processing of the National Prosecuting Authority's priority cases, Muridili told News24.

A dedicated overtime budget of R18.5 million has been allocated to the forensic laboratory for the processing of the backlog, as well as manual tracking and tracing of exhibits.

"No pieces of evidence have been lost due to the unavailability of PCEM (Property Control and Exhibit Management) system," she added.

In November last year, Police Minister Bheki Cele told the Portfolio Committee of Police that the DNA testing backlog was 117 738 cases.

The number grew to 172 787 cases by the beginning of March this year, Major General Edward Ngokha, head of the National Forensic Science Laboratories (NFSL), told the committee. He added that the NFSL had not done any processing in January and February.

In an answer to a written parliamentary question, signed off by Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole, "financial constraints" and the Covid-19 lockdown were provided as reasons for the backlog.

Source: News24

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