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Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Bill Heading for Parliament

December 14, 2021

Civilian Secretariat for the Police Service

The Draft Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill is heading for parliament.

The civilian secretariat for the police service published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 45616.

The draft bill aims to:

• make a new provision in respect of the full implementation of certain transitional arrangements contained in the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act, 2013;
• provide for accounting responsibilities and reporting obligations in respect of the fulfillment of this new provision;
• provide for the enforcement of the obligation to submit to the taking of a buccal sample; and
• for matters connected therewith.

Cabinet approved the draft bill at the beginning of November 2021 for tabling in parliament.

The proposed amendments provide for the mechanism to enforce the taking of DNA buccal samples (samples from cells on the inside of the person’s cheek) from people convicted under Schedule 8 offences.

Schedule 8 offences include sexual offences, robbery, human trafficking and culpable homicide.

The collected buccal samples will facilitate future prosecutions for reoffenders.

The proposed legislation also seeks to set up a comprehensive forensic DNA database to strengthen the fight against crime by capacitating the police with evidence to investigate and solve serious crimes.

The draft bill will be tabled in parliament soon.