The Democratic Alliance welcomes the adoption of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill by the police portfolio committee yesterday, according to a press release put out by the party.

The Bill is designed to ensure the full implementation of the expired transitional arrangements in the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act. These transitional arrangements expired in 2017 leaving a glaring gap in the law for the past five years.

Since the transitional arrangements in the Act expired more than 96 000 convicted schedule 8 offenders have been released on parole without their DNA samples being taken. This is more than 96 000 potential repeat offenders out on the street because Cabinet did not prioritise the legislation.

The main objective of the Bill is to contribute towards the population of the forensic DNA database. The Bill specifically makes the collection of DNA evidence from Schedule 8 offenders in the form of compulsory samples taken from the mouth. This is crucial to resolving unsolved cases and towards taking repeat offenders off the streets.

The DA says it has championed this issue since 2019 and worked hard to ensure that the committee receive this amendment bill and process it accordingly.

The committee’s unanimous support for this Bill paves the way for its adoption by Parliament which will bolster the criminal justice system and the fight against violent crime.