SAPS in the process of receiving new rape test kits

The South African Police Service has announced that a new rape-kit supplier has been appointed.

The Portfolio Committee chairperson Tina Joenat-Pettersson raised concerns early in August when it was discovered that more than 80% of police stations had no stock of rape-kits for adults and were therefore unable to gather evidence from rape survivors.

SAPS were issued with a subpoena

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) subpoenaed the SAPS earlier this year regarding the administration of DNA testing in cases of domestic and gender-based violence.

The Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba raised concerns about poor police enforcement of protection orders and how the unavailability of rape-kits caused compounded suffering on those affected.

Supplier contract cancelled

The shortage was seen as a national crisis since the original supplier is said to have had their contract cancelled in 2017 due to allegations of corruption between the supplier and certain police officers.

The delay in securing a new tender caused a critical shortage of rape-kits and Parliament demanded a solution be found.

New supplier will supply 13 different evidence collection kits

It was announced on Sunday that the new supplier contract has been secured and test kits for adult sexual assault, paediatric sexual assault and buccal sample collection kits are being received and distributed to SAPS branches across the country.

Major shortage across South Africa

Police minister Bheki Cele said that the matter was a serious concern as it relates to crimes against women and children.

It was estimated that only 18 000 adult rape-kits were in circulation in the country with a shortage of 128 000.