Bheki Cele, South African minister of police, has disclosed that 20,336 murders were recorded in the country from 2017 to 2018 period.
According to NAN, Cele said South Africa is close to being a war zone while commenting on the trend.
“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 was quoted to have said.
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.
Nigerians are among those who were murdered in the country, with over 100 killed in the period under review.
When he visited Nigeria in July, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, blamed the persistent killing on “criminals”, vowing to bring perpetrators to book.
Ramaphosa said it would be wrong to assume that Nigerians were being targeted as a result of xenophobia.
“There has been quite a number of incident in our country where foreign nationals some of whom are Nigerians have lost their lives and are being attacked,” he had said.
“I will like to say here and now that, that has been as a result of criminal activity among our own people which we are focusing on from a criminal element point of view.
“I want to state here and now that South Africans do not have any form of negative disposition or hatred towards Nigerians and in the main Nigerians in South Africa and a number of places of our country live side by side, they cooperate very well and some are in the corporate structures of our various companies and some are traders and some are into a number of things.
“So, I want to dispel this notion that when a Nigerian looses his or her life in South Africa, it is as a result of an intentional action by South Africans against Nigerians. That is simply not true.”