A young lesbian has been found murdered and also sexually mutilated in South Africa, reports say.

The victim was found with a toilet brush inserted into her vagina, in Thokoza, east of Johannesburg.

According to the South African Times, the 26-year-old was killed in an apparent homophobic attack.

“The woman was last seen at a local shebeen and we are awaiting the results of a postmortem to determine whether she had been raped,” Captain Godfrey Maditsi of the Thokoza police station told the newspaper.

No arrests have yet been made and Mr Maditsi asked members of the public to come forward with information that may assist police with their inquires.

In a report last week Amnesty International warned that homophobic attacks had increased dramatically in the rainbow nation in recent years.

In South Africa, at least seven people, five of them lesbians, were murdered between June and November 2012 in what appears to have been targeted violence related to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

South Africa is the only African country that recognises gay rights and allows same-sex marriage.