Major New Crime-Fighting Law Planned For SA

Major New Crime-Fighting Law Planned For SA

Legislation Explored

Major new crime-fighting law planned for SA with the bill expected to make it easier to track and trace violent offenders in the country.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet has approved the Criminal Law Amendment Bill of 2021 for processing in parliament.

In a media briefing on Thursday (4 November), minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said that the bill will provide for ‘forensic procedures’ and will enforce the taking of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples from offenders convicted of schedule 8 criminal offences.

Gungubele said that schedule 8 offences include, amongst others:

  • Sexual offences;
  • Robbery;
  • Human trafficking;
  • Culpable homicide.

“The collected buccal sample will facilitate future prosecutions for re-offenders. The bill will also enable the establishment of a comprehensive DNA database to strengthen the fight against crime by capacitating the police with evidence to investigate and solve serious crimes,” Gungubele said.

Controversial history 

First announced in 2017, the bill provides for the taking of specified bodily samples (buccal samples) from schedule 8 offenders for DNA analysis. The DNA profiles are then stored in the National Forensic DNA Database (NFDD).

However, the government has also controversially considered taking DNA from children at birth to develop a more comprehensive database.

In a November 2019 parliamentary Q&A, minister of police Bheki Cele said that he had requested that the bill be put on hold to “allow a process to investigate the possibility of all citizens of the country to be buccally sampled, including infants at birth, for identification purposes”.

These buccal samples would then, within the amended legal framework, be used for comparison during forensic criminal investigations, he said.

“For this purpose, I have sent a letter to the then Minister of Home Affairs Dr Siyabonga Cwele, to request the minister to consider the proposal of extending the buccal sampling requirement to all citizens of the country since the matter falls within the exclusive mandate of the Department of Home Affairs as the lead department in the registration of births and identification of citizens and non-citizens of the country,” he said at the time.

More details around the updated Criminal Law Amendment Bill of 2021 are expected to be made available when it begins formal parliamentary processing.

Main Image: Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya from Pexels

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Article Credit to BusinessTech Lifestyle.


What’s your view of these new approved Criminal Law Amendment Bill? Do you think it will make South Africa a safer country? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.

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