He said murders of women and children had also increased.
South Africa's already high murder rate has increased by about 7 per cent, prompting the police minister to compare the situation to a "war zone".
The South African Police Service has released the latest crime stats for 2017/18, revealing an unsettling increase in the number of murders taking place in South Africa over the past year.
Cele admitted that the figures revealed that the police had "dropped the ball" in their crime-fighting efforts.
"We have increased in terms of three crimes, murder, sexual, and attempted murder".
In the a year ago, 291 more women were killed than in 2017 - 117 more boys and 29 more girls.More news: Kane: Referee 'bottled' decision to disallow late equalizer vs. Spain
'The figures that always scare me are murder figures, ' he said. "The other four have gone down that is assault GBH, assault common robbery, and robbery with aggravating circumstances and the overall broad category of contact crimes have decreased by 1.1%", said Sekhukhune.
Most murders took place in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
In 2016-2017, the number of rapes that were reported to the police was 39 828, but for 2017-2018 this figure rose to 40 035.
In June, Cele announced a specialised task force to prioritise cash-in-transit heists.
"Our police need better training, equipment and resources".