Police Minister Bheki Cele (left) and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole at a media briefing following the release of the 2017/18 crime statistics. Picture: Chantall Presence/African News Agency(ANA)
Parliament - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday admitted "we dropped the ball" following the release of the crime statistics which show a 6.9 percent increase in the murder rate in South Africa.

"The SA Police Service will declare upfront that somewhere, somehow we dropped the ball," Cele told journalists at a media briefing after tabling the crime stats in Parliament.

The stats revealed the total number of murders recorded by the SA Police Service (SAPS) from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, were 20,366 compared to 19,016 reported in the previous year.

Cele earlier told MPs this translated into an average 57 people being killed in South Africa every day.

Cele said the focus now should not be on casting blame for the increase in murders, but on how they could "collectively pick up the ball".

African News Agency/ANA