Is there no political will to make a difference?

It always amazes me how DNA and a DNA Database makes perfect sense to everyone else, expect the handful of people who can ACTUALLY make a difference! I attended a DNA workshop in Cape Town this last week, where leading International DNA Forensic Scientists gave lectures on the basics of Forensic DNA and how it is applied in a criminal context –  it was an expensive workshop but I was invited to attend at no cost due to our NGO status. The workshop organisers also offered to host the entire Portfolio Committee and Parliamentary Researcher responsible for reviewing the DNA Bill, FREE of charge to the DNA workshop so that they could all benefit from understanding the basic concepts of DNA, DNA Databases, the ethical considerations around a DNA Database and the importance of legislation to regulate this area. Only the Chairperson and two other members of parliament accepted the invitation, as well as the Parliamentary Researcher –  but… not even ONE of these 4 people bothered to pitch up.

Apart from the fact that this is simply bad manners, this illustrates that there appears to be absolutely no political will whatsoever to want to make a difference, and yet, do you think they will all clamber at the opportunity to go on the all ‘expenses paid’ overseas trip to the UK and Canada next year? Let’s wait and see. Meanwhile, a real opportunity to actually learn something of value has just passed by….


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