Mass shooting near Pietermaritzburg
The scene of a deadly mass shooting is seen, near Pietermaritzburg, South Africa April 21, 2023. Reuters

Gunmen stormed a homestead in a township outside the South African city of Pietermaritzburg and ambushed a family, killing 10 people, police said.

Police did not give a motive for the shooting.

Seven women and three men were killed, the police ministry said in a statement.

South Africa has one of the world's highest murder rates, with about 20,000 murders recorded every year out of a population of 60 million.

Gunmen killed eight people and wounded three others at a birthday party in the city of Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape in January, following a spate of mass gun attacks last year.

"It's a crime scene, terrible. Too many people were lost here," Police Minister Bheki Cele said in comments broadcast on public broadcaster SABC from Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Cele said police management needed to sit down to talk about whether the province needed more police resources.

A Reuters photojournalist at the scene of the shooting saw a mortuary van in the yard of the homestead into which bodies of those killed were being loaded on a stretcher. Worried members of the community looked on.