South African Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, said 20,336 murders were recorded in the country from 2017 to 2018 period, adding “South Africa is close to being a war zone”.
NAN reports that 19,016 murders were recorded between April 2016 to March 2017.
Presenting the statistics, Cele said: “never again can we come here to give such statistics.
“It cannot be that South Africans are put under such fear, such stress and such murder.”
He said murders of women and children had also increased.
Cele also said rape was up 0.5 per cent, with 40,035 recorded instances compared to 39,828 in 2017.
South Africa is known internationally for its violent crime, but annual statistics are often disputed, especially rape figures.