DA welcomes the Police Committee’s adoption of DNA Amendment Bill

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
11 May 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Andrew Whitfield MP.

The DA welcomes the adoption of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill by the police portfolio committee today.

The Bill is designed to ensure the full implementation of the expired transitional arrangements in the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act. These transitional arrangements expired in 2017 leaving a glaring gap in the law for the past five years.

Since the transitional arrangements in the Act expired more than 96 000 convicted schedule 8 offenders have been released on parole without their DNA samples being taken. This is more than 96 000 potential repeat offenders out on the street because Cabinet did not see fit to prioritise this legislation.

The main objective of the Bill is to contribute towards the population of the forensic DNA database. The Bill specifically makes the collection of DNA evidence from Schedule 8 offenders in the form of buccal samples compulsory. This is crucial to resolving unsolved cases and towards taking repeat offenders off the streets.

The DA has championed this issue since 2019 and worked hard to ensure that the committee receive this amendment bill and process it accordingly.

The committee’s unanimous support for this Bill paves the way for its adoption by Parliament which will bolster our criminal justice system and the fight against violent crime.