Vanessa Lynch to discuss the DNA Bill: SABC 1, 26 Nov ’10 @ 1pm

It’s your Right / Yilungelo Lakho is a Consumer Affairs TV show on SABC 1, transmitting every Friday from 13H00 to 14H00 where issues affecting South African consumers are discussed.

On the 26 November 2010 they will be doing a show around the DNA bill, the DNA Database and the rights of victims and criminals amongst other issues. They have invited Vanessa Lynch from the DNA project to participate in a studio discussion on these issues and more.

With the festive season fast approaching crimes ranging from child rape, murder, cash in transit heists, house braking, hijacking and rape in general are likely to be on the rise. Promises  of visible police work and adding more workforce by the ministry have been heard, but do we have police trained to collect DNA samples at crime scenes? South African Forensic laboratories play a critical role in the prosecution and conviction of criminals. But reports say since 2007 these labs experience a 300% backlog bringing a parallel increase in the number of criminal cases that could not be successfully prosecuted. Leading to a notion that our forensic laboratories are now, in fact, in a state of crisis. Besides backlogs problems ranging from high vacancy rates, largely unsuccessful staff retention policies, Police efficiency lack of trained staff and expensive training on how to take DNA samples at crime scene, housing and maintenance problems have been reported.

The discussion will focus on the above issues as well as the DNA forensic bill, what it entails and how it will assist in combating crime. Moreover, the question will be asked as to why it hasn’t been passed and when will it happen, and the issue of human rights for both victims and criminals. The issue of private labs will also be raised.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Police as well as a representative from the FSL and SAPS have been invited to participate in the discussion.

The show is scheduled for 26 November 2010 @ 1pm on SABC 1.

One Response to “Vanessa Lynch to discuss the DNA Bill: SABC 1, 26 Nov ’10 @ 1pm”

  1. Magoro says:

    Dear Vanessa,

    I recently visited your DNA project website earlier and I must say that it is one of the good websites I have seen lately. I have corresponded with you earlier and indicated that I used to work for the FLS DNA unit, I am now with the National Department of Health and would like to find out how I can assist with the work you are doing. I think we need to find out and assist the country to accelerate the current efforts of having a National DNA Database of all convicted offenders on serious charges such as rape and murder on the Database to be used for necessary and most needed comparisons. This as you know will have enormous benefits for many rape and murder cases with a DNA profile but no control samples or a known suspect as is the case currently. I think your organisation can and perhaps should do more as an attempt to have the legislation developed and finalised by law makers at the national assembly.
    You may also suggest that in doing things differently as it is the objective of the current government, the police may need to re-examine some of the old cases as we are currently seeing in cold cases investigations in the USA and elsewhere. Strategies should be developed along these lines and I am also happy to have learnt that the FSL team will be visiting the UK and do hope that they will adopt and be excited with some of the above.

    I will be really interested in working with you as an attempt to make our country a better place to live in.