Cape Town – A civil rights organisation says the latest processing of the amendment to the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill of 2021 is what it has been actively advocating for.
Amendments for Section 36D (1) of Criminal Procedure Act (Forensics Procedure Act) have been approved for submission to Parliament, a statement released by the Cabinet said.
The amendments allow for mandatory buccal DNA samples from people convicted of crimes under Schedule 8 offences.
The Schedule 8 offences include sexual offences, robbery, human trafficking and culpable homicide.
This Bill will enable the establishment of a comprehensive forensic DNA database to strengthen the fight against crime by providing police with evidence to investigate and solve serious crimes.
Civil organisation, Action Society was elated at the news.
“We are very pleased about the progress that has been made with the approval and implementation of this legislation, which will allow the SAPS and Correctional Services to take DNA samples of all criminals who are arrested, charged or convicted on a schedule 8 offence.
“Schedule 8 offences include rape and murder. This legislation, which is a crucial crime fighting tool, has been ignored by the government for way too long.
“Action Society urges the president and the minister of police to finalise this legislation as per their commitment, before January 31, 2022,” said Elanie van der Walt, spokesperson for Action Society.
The amendment to the Act has been on hold since 2014.
The organisation thanked its supporters and partner organisations, as well as the public who supported and participated in this campaign.
“We will keep fighting for the reform of the justice system to ensure that victims are protected and perpetrators are successfully prosecuted. Our number one goal is to give a voice to the voiceless,” van der Walt added.