Police Portfolio Committee turns back on rape victims with no urgency to implement CO Bill
The Portfolio Committee on Police has once again postponed the adoption of the Committee report on the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill without any reason or new date indicated.
Action Society finds the cancellation of this meeting very disappointing. “By postponing the meeting once again, rapists will still get released without their DNA samples being taken. They are free to continue raping with no fear of being traced in future or of being linked to previous crimes. Thousands of cases are not resolved, and cold cases cannot be finalised. It seems that government has no urgent resolve or political will to protect the innocent women and children of South Africa,” commented Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society.
The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill B25-2021 states that DNA samples must be taken of all convicted schedule 8 offenders (rape, murder, human trafficking, robbery, and culpable homicide) for the purpose of populating the National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD). The approval of this Amendment Bill, which has been ignored and neglected since 2019, was scheduled for today, but the Portfolio Committee decided to postpone this without any explanation. Once the Portfolio Committee approves the Bill it will be sent to parliament for final approval and promulgation by the President.
“While government is dragging their feet to get this crucial legislation approved, almost 100 000 violent criminals have been released since 2016 without submitting a DNA sample. The recent case of Gerald Khomotso Makua from Limpopo is a perfect example of how crucial DNA evidence is in the fight against crime. Makua was sentenced in the High Court in Polokwane after he raped an elderly woman, killed her, cut her up and threw her body parts into a pit toilet.”
After he brutally raped and murdered this victim, the accused continued with his horrendous acts and raped another woman. This victim was brave enough to open a rape case against Makua and he was tracked down almost a year later, because he was positively linked to the crimes through DNA samples.
Cameron concludes: “Action Society calls for the urgent approval of the CO Bill with the next step being Parliamentary approval. South Africa cannot afford such slackness from the Portfolio Committee. This is very irresponsible and a slap in the face of every victim of a sexual offence.”