DA: More than 36,000 sexual offences cases in WC delayed due to DNA test backlog

The party said it's submitted a dossier on the crisis to President Cyril Ramaphosa's National Council on gender-based violence.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) said that more than 36,000 sexual offence cases in the Western Cape had been delayed due to a backlog in DNA testing.

The party said that it had submitted a dossier on the crisis to President Cyril Ramaphosa's National Council on Gender-Based Violence.

The DA said that the backlog had a serious impact on solving serious crimes such as rape and murder and it had called on Ramaphosa to step in.

An oversight visit to the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory in Plattekloof has revealed that it will take around 18 months to eradicate the DNA analysis backlog.

“We found that the contract for the maintenance of this critical DNA machines ended in May 2019. There’s been no effort made to renew these contracts for the DNA testing machines that require bi-annual and annual maintenance have not been serviced.”

Social Development standing committee chairperson, Gillion Bosman, said that they had written to the National Council on Gender-Based Violence to facilitate collaboration between police and the private sector in a bid to speed up DNA sample processing.

The laboratory's management said that a recovery plan was in place to bring the necessary equipment back online.

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