SAPS, Health Dept were warned about forensics backlog as far back as 2011 - PSC

The Public Service Commission (PSC) said that when it first inspected the SAPS labs in 2011, it sent a report with findings and recommendations to the departments and the parliamentary police portfolio committee.

Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Service Commission (PSC) said that it had been warning the SAPS and the Department of Health about backlogs in its forensic science laboratories as far back as 2011.

Police Minister Bheki Cele recently issued a public apology about the challenge which jeorpadised access to justice.

Currently, the backlog at the SAPS forensic science laboratory stood at over 200,000 cases.

READ
Ramaphosa: DNA forensic testing backlog unacceptable, hampering GBV fight
SAPS says there's progress at their DNA testing facilities

The PSC said that when it first inspected the SAPS labs in 2011, it sent a report with findings and recommendations to the departments and the parliamentary police portfolio committee.

During its inspection, the PSC stated that it found that the work of detectives was often compromised by a lack of timeous support from the forensic science labs of the Department of Health in providing forensic reports.

These enabled police officers to finalise and present case dockets in court.

At the SAPS forensic lab, the commission found that despite limited human resource capacity, disparities in terms of the national standard of the finalisation of analysis reports and analysis of chemistry-related cases, measures were put in place to ensure effective service delivery.

The PSC said that it was disappointed that the current situation indicated a deterioration of services at the labs.

The organisation has urged the SAPS to rebuild the innovations which were once key features of the police labs.

WATCH: Cele: Clearing rape and GBV DNA forensics backlog a priority

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.