“We are now one more step closer to getting justice for victims of murder and GBVF offences,” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society. “We want to thank the NCOP’s Committee on Security and Justice for realising the need for haste in adopting the DNA Bill.”
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Committee on Security and Justice adopted the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill – better known as the DNA Bill – without any amendments this morning.
Action Society, Andrew Whitfield (MP), and DNA for Africa were vital in pushing the Bill through the legal process. It took seven years to get it approved by the National Assembly (NA). Only after Action Society threatened legal action in August 2021, the Minister of Police Bheki Cele finally introduced the Bill to the National Assembly. This led to thousands of arrested, charged or convicted Schedule 8 offenders being released from detention without capturing their buccal DNA samples.
The NCOP will now debate and vote on the Bill. If there is a majority of votes in favour of the Bill, the Bill is passed. If the NCOP passes the Bill without amendments, it goes to the President for his assent and signature, and the Bill then becomes law.
“We hope that the members of the NCOP will also realise the urgency required to approve the DNA Bill,” said Cameron. “This Bill will help to link criminals to all the crimes they committed previously and bring justice to their victims.”