Police Minister Cele details steps to help clear DNA backlog at forensic labs

Cele said that the police were concerned about the negative impact the backlog was having on court cases that involved women and children.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - Minister Bheki Cele has detailed steps to help clear the massive backlog of DNA tests at police forensic science laboratories.

The Police minister was speaking to his R96.3 billion budget in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday.

Cele said that the police were concerned about the negative impact the backlog was having on court cases that involved women and children.

Police Minister Cele said that 127 scientists had been promoted to critical posts within the police’s forensic science laboratories.

"An additional 150 posts of forensic analysts at warrant officer level, have been advertised externally and the new incumbents will commence on duty by the 1 July 2021," the minister said.

Cele said that all forensic scientists had been vaccinated against COVID-19 and that talks were under way with unions about introducing a shift system.

"We are equally concerned about the negative impact this has on the court processes involving crimes against women and children and GBV-related cases," Cele said.

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