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S.Africa 'close to war zone' with 57 murders a day: minister

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'The police dropped the ball' – Cele on 'war zone' crime stats

The SAPS will release this year's crime figures on Tuesday morning. "And there is no war in South Africa", Police Minister Bheki Cele told lawmakers in Cape Town.

South Africa's murder rate rose again a year ago, official statistics showed Tuesday, with over 20,000 people killed across the country - about 57 a day - as police admitted they were struggling to keep control.

A total of 20,336 people were killed in the 12 months to March this year, up from 19,016 the previous year.

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".

"The top 30 stations in terms of murder include the Western Cape with 10 stations followed by Gauteng with 9, then KwaZulu-Natal with 6 and the Eastern Cape with 5".

The question is, he said: "How do we collectively pick up the ball, change the game plan and re-position the police?"

Police committee chair Francois Beukman, who was shocked by this revelation, said that the figure was "unacceptable".

Presenting the crime statistics for the 2017-2018 financial year in parliament on Tuesday‚ the head of police crime research and statistics‚ Maj-Gen Norman Sekhukhune‚ painted a sorry picture of the fight against crime.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world. At least 20 336 murders were recorded nationally.

South Africa's already high murder rate has increased by about seven per cent, prompting the country's police minister to compare the situation to a 'war zone'.

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