Criminals get away with murder in SA


The SA police have access to only 123,000 DNA-samples of convicts – and its politicians are dragging their heels on new legislation…

Lynch Vanessa upset Interpol delegates with child-rape crime scene pictures Oct201010 INTERPOL Picture: ‘Criminals in South Africa get away with murder – literally,” said Vanessa Lynch, founder of “The DNA-project”, speaking at INTERPOL in Lyon, France…

Vanessa Lynch, founder of The DNA Project, was invited by Interpol to speak about the legal problems in establishing an extensive DNA-data-base in South Africa – telling Interpol:

  • “All over the world, DNA profiling and DNA databases have become major tools in crime fighting – except in South Africa.  My crusade to bring South Africa’s DNA-collection system on a par with that of most Western countries has everything to do with the sky-high crime statistics and the fact that our criminals are being protected: the SAPS are by law, not allowed to take DNA-samples of arrested crime-suspects nor maintain a data-base of such DNA-samples.
“In the USA, 6,8million DNA-samples have already been gathered in a database for access by the police there, in Europe more than 7-million.


Lynch: “In South Africa only 123,000 samples are available in their DNA-database. The parliament has been sitting for the past two years on the proposed Bill for Forensic Procedures – and has thus far only promulgated the first part allowing police to access finger-printing data-bases from the Departments of Home Affairs and of Transport – but had not yet set it in motion. The second part – a data-base of DNA-profiles –  is progressing far slower: this would allow the SAPS to draw up DNA-profiles of every person arrested and found guilty of a crime. “



International delegates to the DNA-conference of Interpol in Lyon, France, reportedly choked back their tears when pictures of child-rape scenes were shown by Ms Lynch and also the rape-scene in the controversial Vuka-advertising campaign, “Leaving Something Behind”:
                                     THE DNA-PROJECT – THE VUKA TV AD:


The SAPS also submitted a report at the same conference, writes Beeld senior-editor Philip de Bruin. “International delegates to the DNA-conference wept while the dire situation of DNA-profiles in South Africa was being explained to them,’ he writes. “Especially pictures of teddybears on top of baskets filled to the brim with DNA-sample envelopes and pictures of child-rape scenes greatly upset the delegates’.
Ms Lynch quit her career as an attorney after her father’s murder in 2004 – she was so upset about the poor way in which DNA-evidence was gathered in his case, that she decided to dedicate all her time to advancing the DNA-system in South Africa, she told Interpol delegates.
Sobering: ”other countries take crime very seriously…
Lynch: “What struck me most at the conference was the extent to which the majority of the countries’ governments represented at the conference, were willing to put in whatever resources were required to establish and maximise the effectiveness of their respective DNA databases. It was also sobering to see how seriously they took crime and in some countries a stolen car was considered to be headline news and worthy of 24/7 resources to catch the perpetrator.
“You can just imagine the reaction that followed my presentation where I described the current situation in South Africa, spoke about my experience when my father was murdered and ended off the presentation with the VUKAad which highlights the severity of crime in our country.
“To say that the audience was left in stunned silence at the end of my presentation, is perhaps an understatement. I think we all know how de-sensitized we are to crime in South Africa, but when people came up to me afterwards and told me they had literally choked-up during my presentation, I realised how far removed we really are and how dangerous this can be as it moves us into a place of acceptance of an absolutely, unequivocally unacceptable situation.
“And people kept asking me – ‘ but WHY doesn’t your government do something about this’ and ‘WHY is it taking so long’ to pass this legislation which will convert all those unprocessed rape kits I had shown them, into a DNA profile which may lead the CSI’s to the perpetrator to STOP them from re-offending?
“And the best question posed to me: but WHY doesn’t your government or your parliamentarians RESPECT these victims and future victims of crime enough in your country to do something about this?’Yes, WHY indeed?”
Lynch Vanessa upset Interpol delegates with child-rape crime scene pictures Oct201010 INTERPOL
Beeld approached the Democratic Alliance’s MP on the police-portfolio committee, Ms Dianne Kohler Barnard for comment – and she confirmed Ms Lynch’s claims: saying that while ‘the second part of the law (the DNA-data-base) is important to the committe, we also can’t just rush through such an invasive law’. She also confirmed that parliamentary committee members “first wanted to pay personal visits to Canada and Great Britain to probe the DNA-datasystems in those countries – and then public hearings still also must be held about the issue.”

VUKA ad:

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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