Close on a 100,000 prisoners guilty of serious crimes — murder, rape, sexual offences, etc) — were released without DNA samples being taken for the National Forensic DNA Database, the SA Justice minister has revealed.
Justice & Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has revealed that Gauteng has the highest number of convicted prisoners who were released on parole without their DNA samples being taken, reports IOL.
Lamola said in terms of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, the responsibility to draw DNA samples and maintain National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD) records was that of the SAPS.
“During the transitional period of the aforementioned Act between 2013 and 2016, all schedule eight offenders (murder, rape, sexual offences etc) who were in correctional centres and not registered on the NFDD were referred to the SAPS for DNA samples to be captured. The Department of Correctional Services only processes offenders eligible for parole in terms of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998 as amended, which stipulates the periods of a sentence to be served in order to be eligible for consideration for placement on parole,” Lamola said.
Gauteng, at 20,591, is listed as the province with the highest number of offenders released without DNA samples being taken, followed by KZN at 16,316. Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West have a combined 16,126. The Western Cape has 16,009, the Eastern Cape 14,880 while Northern Cape and Free State have a combined 12,953. Lamola’s response showed that there were 91,778 male parolees and 5,097 female parolees.
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