South Africa-Gender-DNA

S/Africa reduces DNA backlog to less than a third

APA-Pretoria (South Africa)

South African Police Minister Bheki Cele has said the country’s DNA backlog at Forensic Science Laboratories now stood at 71,000 -- down from the 241,000 reported earlier this year -- after reviving dead contracts and bringing them to life.

Addressing the media in Pretoria ahead of Tuesday’s opening of the Presidential Summit on Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), the minister said his office had made some progress in addressing this crippling backlog.

 

What was left now was aimed at removing this backlog by January next year – instead of the original date of October this year, he said.

 

Cele said 16 DNA contracts that had lapsed were re-instituted and more manpower had been added in the Western Cape province to redress the issue.



“Sixteen contracts were allowed to collapse. All those contracts are now in place, and all those contracts are monitored on a month-to-month basis, to such an extent that when there are six months left for the collapse of the contracts, we begin to work on their renewal so that we never go back to the situation where the contracts collapse again,” he said.

 

He added: “The top 30 police stations that have a high level of abuse and rape are given extra money, around US$5.6 million for these stations so that they are able to short circuit in the way of responding.”  

NM/as/APA

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