Tuesday, 28 May, 2024
HomeMedico-LegalSA’s compulsory DNA sampling legislation ‘should also apply to convicted criminals’

SA’s compulsory DNA sampling legislation ‘should also apply to convicted criminals’

While the proclamation of legislation to enforce compulsory DNA sampling of alleged offenders takes effect on 1 February, activists have said the same should apply to convicted criminals.

According to a Cape Times report, Vanessa Lynch, regional director of DNA for Africa, said the government needed to also pass legislation making it mandatory to sample convicted offenders. “All aspects of working towards a fully functional Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) are crucial. It shows commitment by the government to continue to fund and capacitate the FSL to ensure they can cope with capacity,” she said.

Human rights activist Zona Morton said the date to have the proclamation implemented was “fair” as it had been advocated for years. “The question now is what will the justice system do with the DNA samples and ensure that there is fair sentencing?

“The Police Ministry and judiciary have to get on to the same page to ensure there is fair sentencing when it comes to DNA and its sampling. Currently there is a lot of pressure to have the backlog cleared but we don’t know how much has been added to the system in the meantime, especially during the pandemic,” said Morton.

SAPS spokesperson Mathapelo Peters said they would not be commenting on the matter at this time, "due to certain protocols”.


Cape Times Pressreader article – New DNA law should apply to convicted criminals – activists (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Cele plans legislation to capture DNA of all South Africans


National Forensic DNA Database collection failure


SAPS makes 'great strides' in ending DNA testing backlog



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