Pretorius raised a concern that the evidence tracking system for the entire NFSL has not been reinstituted due to an impasse between the police and Forensic Data Analysts (FDA).
“This property control and exhibit management system (PCEM) impacts the processing of all evidence, not just DNA,” Pretorius said.
The pressure group urged government to get the wheels of justice turning again by considering utilising resources of private laboratories in addition to the two state FSLs to assist with the processing of the backlog.
Action Society has called on the Cele to fast-track the finalisation of the three outstanding DNA contracts which will, at the very least, ensure the DNA samples currently in the backlog will begin to be processed.
In December, national police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo confirmed the police have a huge backlog, with rape cases accounting for 60% to 70% of it. Murder cases make up a big chunk of the remaining 30%.
He attributed the backlog to a shortage of test kits and testing strips, maintenance of sensitive equipment, shortages of consumables and reagent and financial constraints.
He said procurement of contracts for the maintenance of sensitive robotics and other specialised equipment is at an advanced stage.