Lobby group Action Society has instructed its legal team to lodge a formal complaint with the Public Protector against the police and is also considering other legal options, as the backlog of unprocessed DNA tests approaches the 200,000 mark. Action Society's spokesperson Rineé Pretorius is quoted in a Cape Argus report as saying mismanagement and maladministration within the police has undermined the public’s rights to equality, fair administrative action, as well as their access to courts.
Pretorius said, due to a dispute over costs and non-payment for computer systems at the police’s Forensic Science Laboratory, managing all evidence, including property control and exhibit management, was shut down in June. “Apart from the backlog in unprocessed DNA tests approaching the 200 000 mark, it implies the firearms register is inactive,” said Pretorius.
“In a country, where more than 12,000 women were raped and 6,297 people murdered, from October until December, the status quo is shocking. While police are shifting the blame and calling on more meetings, our criminal justice system is being jeopardised,” said Pretorius.
According to Pretorius, Action Society’s complaint would focus on the contract management and the awarding of tenders, the reactivation of the Forensic Data Analysts’ trusted computer systems (specifically so that DNA testing can resume) and for the amendment of the DNA Act to be signed, allowing that buccal samples for a DNA register may be taken from convicted criminals.
[link url="http://capeargus.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showarticle.aspx?article=5d884f3a-77ba-4ce3-ba43-6fb3c122095a&key=i%2bNUn6khCgm8z%2fPGodntSA%3d%3d&issue=62562021031900000000001001"]Full Cape Argus report (Restricted access)[/link]