President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the start of elements of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, which will provide law enforcement more capabilities to collect and use DNA in the capture and prosecution of offenders.
A suspect apprehended and charged with a schedule 8 crime will be asked to produce a DNA sample, which will be uploaded to the National Forensics DNA database, beginning January 31. Some of the country's most serious violent crimes, such as murder and r*pe, are classified as Schedule 8 offenses.
Action Society, a civil society organization, has applauded Ramaphosa's proclamation, claiming that it will aid in the resolution of cold cases and improve the number of successful prosecutions.
The group claims that taking a DNA sample of a suspected culprit before a court date will greatly boost the success rate of prosecution and aid law enforcement in catching criminals.
The National Forensics DNA Database (NFDD) will be populated with these DNA samples, allowing law enforcement to link perpetrators to cold cases, identify repeat offenders, and punish more perpetrators.
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