The Western Cape MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, says he is encouraged by the reduction in the DNA backlog in the province.

More than 15, 200 cases are currently still being processed.

In October 2021, that number stood at 89 100 cases.

Over the past 11 months, the police processed around 80% of those cases.

Allen along with the Deputy Police Minister and Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Pinky Kekana, visited the Western Cape South African Police Services’ Forensic Science Laboratory, in November.

The department’s latest Court Watching Briefs report for the period between 1 July 2022 and 30 September 2022 indicated that 208 cases were struck off the court roll due to investigations being incomplete and various other reasons. Of these, 30% were gender-based violence cases.

But despite the reduction, Allen says he’s still concerned about the continued backlog.

“The Forensic Science Laboratory should have all the required resources, equipment and relevant material so that this backlog can be eradicated by the end of this year. That there is this continued delay, is just another reason why SAPS should be devolved to a capable provincial government such as ours. Under our watch, the lab would at all times function optimally, and matters be dealt with speedily”.