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New law will allow for DNA samples to be taken from prisoners to curb GBV in country

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The portfolio committee on police has welcomed the adoption of the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Bill saying it will clamp down on gender-based violence.

File picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Parliament believes the passing of a bill that will allow for the taking of DNA samples from prisoners convicted of serious crimes will help crack down against gender-based violence.

The chairperson of the portfolio committee on police, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said on Wednesday that the bill now has to go to the House for adoption.

The passing of the bill comes as GBV cases have been rising across the country and civil society, political parties, gender groups and other role-players have been urging government to tighten measures.

The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Bill was passed by the committee and will now go to the National Assembly for approval.

“The committee diligently processed the bill and is pleased that the bill has been adopted by all Members of Parliament,” said Joemat-Pettersson.

“In order to win the fight against GBV we need to utilise all resources on hand, and this bill will ensure that buccal samples are taken from convicted persons serving time on any offences listed in Schedule 8 of the Criminal Procedures Act to enable connection to any other crimes. This will strengthen investigations and prosecution of GBV and violent crimes.”

The passing of the bill will now allow for DNA samples to be taken from prisoners convicted of rape, murder and other serious crimes.

Police statistics have revealed that more than 2,000 women were killed last year. Hundreds of children were also killed.

In the last quarterly report from the SAPS, more than 11,000 cases of rape were reported across the country between October and December last year.

Gender groups have warned that women and children are under siege from criminals.

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