Minister Ronald Lamola confirmed that 96,875 convicted “Schedule 8” offenders, have been released on parole since 2016 without their DNA sample being taken and recorded.
Schedule 8 offences includes murder, rape and sexual offences against children. These are the most violent criminals in our society.
This is due to the failure of the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele to bring the Convicted Offender Amendment Bill (CO Bill) to Parliament.
The aim of this bill is ensure that a DNA sample is taken from convicted schedule 8 offenders and added to the convicted offenders database before they are released on parole.
History of the CO Bill
The problem started when the transitional provision of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act No 37 of 2013, expired in 2017. This provision placed the responsibility of collecting the DNA samples of schedule 8 offenders in the hands of SAPS. Once the transitional provision ran its course, collecting DNA samples was no longer a compulsory requirement resulting in almost one hundred thousand violent criminals being let off the hook.
The CO Bill was drafted in 2016 specifically to compel the collection and logging of DNA samples before convicted criminals become eligible for parole, which would have a huge impact on the prosecution of serious crime in South Africa.
The sole reason this Bill has not been passed into law is that the Ministers of Police, Bheki Cele, and Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, have a highly unconstitutional pipedream of a national DNA population database. In the meantime, convicted murderers and rapists are free to continue their terror sprees in the knowledge that the DNA they might inadvertently leave at crime scenes would not be traced back to them or their last crimes
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