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Johannesburg - SAPS and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) have confirmed that certain critical systems have been shut down following a threat from Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) to suspend its services over lack of payment. 

Earlier on, former police officer turned businessman, Keith Keating, of the FDA, said key elements of the criminal justice system, including the Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM) and Firearm Permit System (FPS), for which FDA supplies services to South African Police Service (SAPS), could collapse if SAPS does not pay it for services rendered.

FDA, in its statement, said it had been providing maintenance and support services for the PCEM and FPS to SAPS, but had not been paid in the past few months.

"On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at midnight, use of and access to proprietary licensed software and ancillary support services in respect of PCEM and FPS will unfortunately be suspended by FDA, unless an appropriate agreement could be reached with SAPS before system shutdown," the late night statement said.

FDA also claimed that police officers may not be able to log on or off for duty, may unlawfully be able to check out and use firearms, and may not be able to access and manage evidence in the Forensic Science Laboratory.

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SAPS and SITA in a statement confirmed that certain systems have indeed been shut down. 

"While the shutting down of the said systems is likely to affect the efficiency of certain operations within the SAPS, they however do not completely bring operations to a halt. To ensure that operations can continue unhindered and that service delivery is not compromised, contingency plans have been put in place.

"In the meantime, we are seeking legal advice on this matter and we will act accordingly. Also, we will not be giving out specifics given that there are serious security implications and that we may potentially need to act on the legal advice if necessary," the statement said.