Spitting mad……

I felt we needed to hear some good news last week in the wake of yet another gruesome murder in South Africa, this time at the hands of SAPS – that of Mido Macia, a 27-year-old taxi driver from Mozambique.

I thought this would come in form of the adoption by Cabinet of the DNA Bill – a positive and necessary step to start expanding our National DNA Database which would be given the power to start positively linking murderers and rapists to their grisly deeds.

The final draft of the DNA Bill was supposed to have been adopted by Cabinet last Thursday, 7th March 2013,  five years after the the first draft of the DNA Bill was adopted by Cabinet in December 2008. But this was not to be.

The frustration and disappointment I felt on Thursday morning when I heard that the DNA Bill was not on Cabinet’s agenda, was more than I have felt in a very long time. For those who know me, I am an eternal optimist, always looking for the good side of the story, a reason to believe. This is what drives me to continue to fight so passionately for what I consider to be urgently needed in a country which is being crippled by crime. But last Thursday, following this news, I have to admit that I found it difficult to muster up any of that usual fight. If I was one to spit, which I am not, I think that is what I would have done that day — spat at the door of Parliament! To simply leave this DNA Bill off the agenda for yet another month because Cabinet were not given the requisite ‘seven days notice thereof’ (they were given six days notice, one day short), is pathetic. How difficult is it in a country which is screaming out for solutions to crime, to make an exception, or convene a special meeting of Cabinet to adopt this DNA Bill so that it can finally and  deservedly be given a place on the Portfolio Committee for Police’s legislative programme? This would indicate a real and urgent intention by our Government to stand up and do something tangible in the fight against crime!

But. This is yet another example of A. Lack. Of. Political. Will.

It didn’t take me too long to get over this disappoinment. Fortunately. I am back in the proverbial driving seat again, having been inspired by my colleagues and the many incredible supporters of our project who believe in what we do and fight alongside us.

My boxing gloves which hang in my office - ready to fight!

My boxing gloves which hang in my office - ready to fight!

The next step: We have been assured that the DNA Bill is now firmly on the agenda for the next Cabinet sitting which we hope will be held shortly after the Easter weekend. Once the DNA Bill is adopted, we trust that the Portfolio Committee for Police will show some urgency in putting it on their parliamentary programme and advertising for public commentary on the DNA Bill within the same month.

In the meantime, I continue to don my boxing gloves, and get on with our other pressing projects, most importantly the business of trying to create greater crime scene awareness in SA!

We live in hope!

Vanessa Lynch

One Response to “Spitting mad……”

  1. Peta Steyn says:

    Keep at it!!! Its so disheartening, and I really admire the passion with which you have been driving this project for so many years. When you finally get it through, it will be an amazing feeling! One day at a time! xxx