JOHANNESBURG – The backlogs at the country’s forensic service laboratories have once again been highlighted by delays in a Krugersdorp rape case.
Fourteen alleged illegal miners made a brief appearance in the magistrate’s court on Wednesday, in connection with the rape of eight women in July.
The women were attacked, allegedly by the group while they were shooting a music video on an abandoned mine.
The men and one minor are also facing charges of sexual assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
At the beginning of last year, the backlog status at the forensic service laboratories was at over 241,000.
As of last month, the number of cases has been reduced to over 90,000 cases.
The police’s Lirandzu Temba said that they had been prioritising murder and rape cases.
“We attribute this reduction to better contract management, increased workforce and what we’ve done is also doubling the lab hours and ensuring the procurement of much-needed agents and chemicals for DNA process are acquired in time,” Temba said.
However, the rape case against the 14 alleged illegal miners has still been prejudiced by the state’s challenges.
Members of the public came out in their numbers at the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court on Wednesday, in the hope of hearing what progress had been made.
But the matter was postponed to the end of November due to outstanding DNA evidence.