‘Gauteng forensic lab lied about backlog’

Popcru accused Gauteng's Forensic Science Laboratory of doctoring its backlog statistics.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa opened a police service forensic science laboratory in Cape Town on 17 July 2012. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng's Forensic Science Laboratory allegedly doctored its backlog statistics, the Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said on Friday.

The lab is responsible for forensically testing evidence obtained in thousands of police cases every year.

According to the union, the lab's portfolio committee lied when it said it only had a backlog of 158 cases.

Popcru said the real statistics reflect a backlog of at least 500 cases.

The union also reported more than R500 million worth of drugs had been stolen from the laboratory between 2008 and 2010, but no steps had been taken to remedy this.

Gauteng Popcru Secretary Steve Matsemela said they have approached National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega.

"We have given her seven working days to respond to us. She has a dossier which we gave to her in June."