Just shoot to kill with your buccal swab!

I have just read through the latest amendment of the Criminal Procedure Act which deals with arrest and the ‘‘Use of force in effecting arrest”. Click here to read it – it is only a few pages long.

Parliament  have just gazetted the amendment which allows  ‘deadly force’ in arrest — defined as  “force that is likely to cause serious bodily harm, or death and includes, but is not limited to, shooting at a suspect with a firearm.”
This was introduced and passed within the last year — seemingly with no constitutional issue whatsoever.

Yet putting a swab in an arrestees mouth to take a DNA sample is considered an AWESOME abuse of police power (but at least if you make a mistake, the suspect is still alive to take a 2nd sample!) Or better yet, the sequence of 9 non-coded, meaningless numbers entered onto a DNA Database to build criminal intelligence against serial rapists and murderers, is conceived to be an invasion of privacy:  But  – the use of force that is likely to cause death… – pass.

Are we to presume that our MP’s are oxymorons?  Because here we sit waiting for over two years for the DNA legislation to be passed which has much more far-reaching consequences in fighting crime intelligently and yet the above amendment sweeps through Parliament without so much as a constitutional peep from Parliament or its Portfolio Committee Members within a year.

The upside, is that perhaps we can use this promulgation to strengthen our argument that in the context of this recent Amendment, the DNA Bill we are fighting surely cannot be labelled as unconstitutional.


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