SAPS lies this morning caught up with them when a meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Police concluded that the FDA (Forensic Data Analysts) system should be switched back on. The chairperson of the committee, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, admitted that she had been misled and gave relevant parties another week to resolve the matter.
“It seems that the tug-of-war is finally over. Action Society welcomes Joemat-Pettersson’s rulings and hope that justice will be served to the hundreds of thousands of victims waiting for their cases to be presented to court,” says Dr Rineé Pretorius, spokesperson of Action Society.
An united Portfolio Committee on Police agreed that several problems within SAPS still needs to be addressed. SAPS however cannot do their work without proper IT service, as previously offered by the FDA. Joemat-Pettersson ruled that people responsible for this dilemma should be investigated and held accountable.
“Without a doubt the growing DNA backlog cannot be processed with the proposed paper register. In a country with a rape conviction rate of 7,8% we cannot believe that, for a negotiating period of over two years, government has put a price tag on an IT system needed to manage crucial evidence,” Pretorius says.
The pressure group agrees that the outstanding money should be paid to the FDA so that the fool proof systems, especially PCEM, could be switched back on.
“The National Treasury did a fair evaluation of the worth, SAPS failed to commit to the agreements twice. Since the FDA did not receive any payments, they’ve switched off the system in June 2020. How could SAPS let this happen before having a proper backup system in place? Now they talk about developing a new system, with a better lifespan, that will most definitely have its own shortcomings and requires hours of training.”
According to Police Minister, Bheki Cele, he for the first time heard that there, in the whole republic of South Africa, were no chemicals for DNA sampling. This comes after he personally wanted to fast-track a blood sample from the crime scene where a police officer has been shot dead.
“How can he be so ignorant when this information has been public? We would like to thank the public for supporting our #SwitchOffGBV campaign, ensuring the DNA backlog to be resolved soon,” Pretorius says.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 10 March 2021
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Dr. Rineé Pretorius
Spokesperson: Action Society,
PR: Action Society,