South Africa: What’s Happening In South African News – March 21, 2022

Cape Town —  

Calls for Prisoners to Have Compulsory DNA Samples Taken

A former deputy chairperson of the DNA Board, Dr Vanessa Lynch, sounded a warning that the delay in implementing the DNA Bill led to the release of thousands of prisoners since 2017, without taking their buccal samples. Lynch said some of the released prisoners could have gone back to crime and committed more offences. Lynch was addressing the  National Assembly Committee on Police, on the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Bill. The committee is chaired by Tina Joemat-Petterson.  Representatives from the SA Police, the DNA Board and labour union COSATU, also made presentations to the committee. The labour union’s Matthew Parks said that the Bill should not focus only on taking DNA samples of prisoners convicted of Schedule 8 offences including rape, murder, human trafficking and robbery, but other crimes as well.

Good Party Calls for Overhaul of Immigration Policy

Good Party is calling on the government to relook the country’s immigration policy, after clashes over jobs, between Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals broke out on farms in Robertson in the Western Cape last week. Hundreds of Zimbabwean women and children were displaced and informal housing razed. General Secretary Brett Herron, who described the clashes as xenophobic, said that “tens of thousands of South African farmworkers are unemployed and live in squalor on the fringes of rural towns. This is a direct consequence of South Africa’s non-existent immigration policy and porous borders, but it is also a situation for which farm-owners must account. it is they who have systematically reduced the number of South Africans they employ and accommodate on their farms, in favour of cheaper and more exploitable foreign labour”, Herron said.

Clover Impasse With Striking Workers Heads to Labour Court

Unions representing workers who have been on strike since November 22, 2021, say they will seek recourse in the labour court as none of the interventions to resolve the deadlock between them and the dairy company.