Western Cape DNA backlog reduced by over 60 000

Published Aug 24, 2022


Cape Town - Western Cape MEC for police oversight and community safety, Reagan Allen confirmed the reduction in the DNA backlog at the Western Cape SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) over the past 10 months.

According to Allen, since October 1, 2021, the backlog stood at 89 158 and as of August 23, 2022, the backlog has been reduced to 25 290.

This means the FSL has worked through 63 868 DNA samples.

“This is an important development, as these samples are very vital in cases of sexual assault, murders, and various other matters.

“The more the lab is able to address their backlog, the quicker perpetrators who are standing trial can be held accountable for their crimes.

“This also ensures that there isn’t secondary trauma for the victims, who might be waiting a very long time for their matter to be finalised.

“The continued backlog remains deeply concerning and is yet another reason why SAPS should be devolved to a capable government such as ours.

“Under our watch, the lab would at all times function optimally, and matters be dealt with speedily,” Allen said.

He said previously there were deep concerns with the state of the FSL as there was a lack of consumables, while instruments were not services and maintained due to contracts not being in place.

Allen also noted the FSL is in a better position to address the rest of the backlog as service and maintenance contracts are in place for the service and maintenance as well as the procurement of consumables.

“I urge the scientists at this lab to eradicate the current backlog before the end of this year. I’m looking forward to returning to the lab in due course, to ascertain the progress that is being made,” Allen added.