Saturday, May 8, 2021


Tina Joemat-Petterson

 Dear Readers,
          If you or any of your relatives ever get murdered or raped in South Africa don’t expect the perpetrators to get convicted any time soon, if at all.  The DNA testing backlog is increasing at such an alarming rate that there seems no hope of our *Keystone SA Cops (SAPS) ever getting anywhere near catching up.

          Thousand of criminals of all kinds are laughing at a system that can’t produce enough DNA evidence to convict them. The backlog at the National Forensic Science labs has just jumped from 117 000 cases in December to a shocking 173 000. According to Brig.Vish Naude the National Police spokesperson, about 70% of these numbers involve rape with murder accounting for a high proportion of the remaining 30%.

          No wonder the USA has issued a travel warning to its citizens that South Africa is no place for a holiday if you and your family hope to return in one piece.

          However scary the figures are we don’t have to worry too much because the problem is in the good hands of Tina Joemat- Petterson.  She became Chairperson of the Government’s Portfolio Committee on Police in 2019 based no doubt on her reputation for honesty and an unblemished record as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (2009-2014) and then Minister of Minerals and Energy (2014 -2017).

          You could not possibly have a person with dubious skeletons in their cupboard heading this important Police Committee could you? 

          But like many of the African National Congress’ (ANC) recycled ministers Tina’s history in these top jobs is picturesque to say the least. While in charge of Agriculture she famously said: “You can’t have mud slinging in agriculture.” Unfortunately it seems she was wrong and some of the mud stuck on her.

          As a result of complaints from the opposition Democratic Alliance party the Public Protector twice found her guilty in 2012 and 2014 of recklessly dealing with state funds and services resulting in wasteful expenditure in the fishing industry and not using public funds reasonably when it came to her accommodation expenses.

          What more could you want as a reference for somebody to head the Committee on Police? Cyril you must be so proud of this choice or is he perhaps ‘shocked’ as usual.

          While she was the Minister of Energy the mud slinging continued and a mere 10-million barrels of the country’s emergency oil reserves mysteriously disappeared. This time the Public Protector found that this former school teacher was mislead by the former boss of the Strategic Fuel Fund Association. I could not establish what happened after that, but who cares it’s only more taxpayers money down the drain.

           This was so typical of the ANC to expect a Minister, who got mucky in Agriculture to suddenly be an expert in the Energy field that is rife with big time, international crooks.

          To emphasise the state our police forensics are in the SAPS has just put an advertisement in the jobs section of the Sunday Times for no less than 133 Forensic Warrant officers (salary R304 851 per annum) to be stationed in various parts of the country working in labs or doing other aspects of forensics.

          Is this what Tina meant when she said the National Forensic Oversight Board (NFOB), which clearly has been doing a great job up to now, must find solutions to the long standing backlogs problem.

          Our Minister with the Hat Bheke Cele, who heads the Police, evidently believes that giving more cushy jobs to the boys, or girls, will solve the problem. He recently appointed 10 members to the NFOB Board. He sure knows how to pick them. Benedicta Monama was made a board member in spite of her dodgy background in other government departments only to be removed by Bheke for non attendance of more than three consecutive meetings.

          Presumably if she had had the sense to miss just two or perhaps three, but not consecutively, she would be still there. 

How many of them know anything at all about forensics is anybody’s guess. As long as they fit the description of cadre employees that is all that matters.


Jon, an Investigative Journalist and Forensic Expert of note.

P.S. Have you heard the story about the best part of re-cycling? It’s when you are going down hill on your way home. In the ANC’s case it is no joke.


*The Keystone Cops were humorous, incompetent policemen featured in silent film, slapstick comedies. One of the stars was my namesake Bud Abbott. When can we expect to see our President Cyril Ramaphosa featured in a similar film with our Keystone Cops? It would take our minds off the mess he and his ANC have made of running our country more effectively than changing the names of towns and streets.






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