Speaking at the release of the 2012/13 crime statistics in Pretoria, he said the rate had previously decreased by 16.6 percent over the past four years, and by 27.2 percent over the past nine years.
“Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime.
“We will work doubly hard to ensure this slight increase is re-routed to the downward trends that we experienced over the past nine years,” he said.
The raw figures showed that murders increased from 15,609 between April 2011 and March 2012, to 16,259 between April 2012 and March 2013.
There was also a 6.5 percent increase in attempted murder in the financial year under review from 14,859 in 2011/12 to 16,363 in the period under review.
This was in contrast to a decrease in attempted murder by 16.8 percent over the past four years and 51.7 percent over the past nine years.
Mthethwa highlighted the causes for the increases by province.
These included cases of domestic violence and alcohol-related arguments near taverns in the Eastern Cape, and labour unrest in the mining sector in the North West.