The DA will today write to the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to request that he expedite the process of accreditation for forensic chemistry laboratories (FCL) in Johannesburg and Pretoria. If labs are not accredited, blood alcohol test results can be rejected in court.
Johannesburg and Pretoria FCLs are not accredited with the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS). As these labs are scientific establishments serving the criminal justice system, and accreditation matters greatly.
Accreditation by SANAS in terms of the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laboratory Practice Act of 2006, serves to ensure formal recognition that a lab is competent to perform tasks in accordance with international criteria.
Minister Motsoaledi is on record (Report of the Auditor-General on a performance audit of the Forensic Chemistry Laboratories, November 2009) to ‘resolve the long outstanding issue of the non-accreditation of the Forensic Chemistry Laboratories’.
Minister Motsoaledi made this promise 6 years ago, without acting on it. Accreditation has not been resolved at the Johannesburg and Pretoria labs. Minister Motsoaledi should explain why not. The Cape Town lab is close to having its accreditation renewed for another 5 years, providing a model of success that can be emulated.
Our forensic laboratories have been neglected for far too long. We need accredited laboratories that produce legally indisputable results. It is simply not acceptable that blood sample testing, a routine and simple procedure, cannot be efficiently and robustly done.
The DA will continue to monitor developments at forensic laboratories countrywide.
DA Federal Chairperson
Source : Democratic Alliance