Expansion project to address DNA backlogs

Expansion project to address DNA backlogs

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday commended the South African Police Service (SAPS) for their hard work and commitment to addressing backlogs in the analysis of DNA retrieved from crime scenes.

This, after the President Ramaphosa officially opened the DNA expansion project at the Forensic Science Laboratory at the Eben Donges Building in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

With the new and enhanced capacity in the Eastern Cape Forensic Science Laboratory, police can expect faster turnaround times, especially with respect to the investigation of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) cases.

“The improved forensic capabilities should expedite investigations and help our police build strong cases with solid evidence to enable the successful conviction of perpetrators,” he said.

He added that people who commit crimes against women and children have no place in society.

“We depend on this and other forensic science laboratories across the country to make sure that these criminals are put [in] prison and remain there.

“It is impressive that the construction of this upgraded facility, which started during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, was completed at six months ahead of the projected completion time and below budget,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa used the occasion to commend and appreciate all women in the integrated security and law enforcement agencies across all the ranks.

“It is these women who continue to make significant strides in what was previously considered to be male-dominated environments.

“Women are increasingly present in national intervention units, special task forces, bomb disposal units, tactical response teams, search and rescue teams, flying squads and highway patrol units.

“More and more women are becoming pilots and airborne law enforcement officers; forensic, ballistic and DNA analysts; and crime scene reconstruction experts,” President Ramaphosa said.

President Ramaphosa said there should no longer be any area of police and security work that is closed to women and no area where they are not able to excel.

“Let me commend the Ministry of Police and the management of the SAPS, and all the heads of other law enforcement agencies, for ensuring that the goal of gender equality in the workplace is closer to becoming a reality.

“Let me also recognise and commend efforts by other departments like the SANDF, Correctional Services, metros and traffic police who are also working to make sure that women have equal opportunities for career advancement.

“We appreciate the struggles of women over the generations that laid the foundation for these accomplishments. We welcome this kind of integration of multiple forces and capabilities led by women in the security and law enforcement space,” President Ramaphosa said. – SAnews.gov.za