Cape Town (AFP) - South Africa's murder rate rose again previous year, official statistics showed Tuesday, with over 20,000 killed across the country - about 57 a day - as police admitted they were struggling to keep control.
He said the murder statistics "borders close to a war zone‚ while there is peace and there is no war in SA".
"The answer we must give is what should be done ... never again will we come to give such statistics ... it can not be that South Africans are put under such fear‚ stress‚" the minister said.
Cele admitted that the figures revealed that the police had "dropped the ball" in their crime-fighting efforts.
"Our murder rate is on the increase".
Most murders took place in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
South African police say a man with a knife fatally stabbed two people and wounded several others at a mosque near Cape Town before police shot and killed the attacker.
The DA has also commented on the stats, calling them "a [devastating] reminder of how the ANC government is losing the battle to keep South Africans safe".
Police committee chair Francois Beukman said the increase in the murder rate was "alarming and unacceptable".
"It can not be that South Africans are put under such fear, such stress and such murder".
South Africa has recorded an increase in the number of reported serious crimes including murder‚ attempted murder and sexual offences. "We need a better criminal justice system so that murderers are locked up and keys thrown away".