Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Bheki Cele is misleading public about forensic tests


The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, is being dishonest with the South African public by pretending that the police service is making progress with eradicating the enormous backlog with DNA tests.

After the unacceptable and violent rape of eight women who were busy shooting a music video near Krugersdorp, Minister Cele suddenly spoke up and said that the police are busy reducing the backlog with DNA tests.

In reality, however, police reports submitted to the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police paint a completely different picture.

According to the report for June this year, the backlog with DNA tests stood at 150 131. The report had been signed by Minister Cele.

In the following report (July, last month), the backlog had grown to a staggering 180 381.

That is an increase of more than 30 000 within a single month, and once again it was signed by Minister Cele himself. So, the Minister is misleading the public by saying that the backlog is being cleared.

Clearly, the Krugersdorp incident is a great embarrassment for the police and that is why the Minister is using falsehoods in an attempt to create the impression that police labs are prioritising DNA tests.

The fact that the Minister is requiring special attention for the Krugersdorp incident is extremely unfair and a slap in the face of the victims of other crimes and rape, some of whom have been waiting for the DNA test results that are relevant to their cases for more than two years.

The FF Plus pointed out last year that President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Cele as well as the National Police Commissioner at the time, General Khehla Sitole, admitted on more than one occasion that the problem is a crisis and promised to address it "immediately".

President Ramaphosa said to Parliament in May that the backlogs are "absolutely unacceptable" and that the police are "working hard to eradicate it". He also undertook to approach the private sector for help.

Minister Cele said in a parliamentary debate in 2021 that the situation is a crisis that has an "enormous impact on the finalisation of court cases relating to serious crime, like murder and rape".

It has now become abundantly clear that those words were just empty promises, and that the government's undertakings and statements about the crisis mean nothing.

I have stated many times that the criminal justice system and the police's incompetence are increasingly letting the public down.

There is clearly only one solution to this problem and that is to replace the current Minister of Police with someone who does not only do crisis management, but who is willing and able to effectively address the crime problem. Someone who, unlike Minister Cele, does not want to simultaneously fill the offices of Minister and Commissioner and, thus, undermine the police's operational functioning.

President Ramaphosa must act in the public's best interest. And in the meantime, other victims who have been waiting for their DNA test results for a long time may not be discriminated against.



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