Action Society asked the Public Protector to investigate “these parties for their alleged failure to deal with the backlog of DNA evidence in a sufficiently expeditious manner”.
“The absence of justice, with court cases being dragged out and postponed increases and prolongs trauma for survivors that have been subjected to these violent crimes and families of victims who are seeking closure.
“The public protector investigation will reaffirm that senior leadership in the Presidency and in the Ministry of Police, due to their negligence and apathy, has blood on their hands,” Action Society spokesperson Elanie van der Walt said in a statement on Wednesday.
Van der Walt further revealed that the organisation has approached the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to clarify the impact of the DNA backlog within the country’s courts.
“The current prosecution rate in rape cases is a miniscule 8% and a true reflection of the government’s failure to protect the women and children of South Africa. Court cases are being struck off the roll and perpetrators walk away scot-free due to the lack of forensic evidence,” she said.
She continued to say: “We’ve requested the NPA to divulge exactly how many cases, especially cases that involve children or are GBVF related, have been struck off the roll due to the lack of DNA evidence.
“We need to understand the full impact the DNA backlog has on the justice system and address the short comings at all levels of government.
“Minister Cele and the President can’t say they are fighting GBVF when they are not taking the necessary action to sort out this miscarriage of justice.”
Last year, Cele conceded that the NFSL’s electronic registry system, which manages evidence for DNA analysis, was offline, thus, resulting a backlog crisis.