Nearly three murders were committed every hour during the first quarter of the year in South Africa, where record crime is on the rise, according to official police statistics published on Tuesday.
Every three months, at a press conference broadcast live on television, Police Minister Bheki Cele paints a bleak picture of insecurity in one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
Between January and March, the number of murders rose by 3.4% compared with the same period last year, with 6,289 cases recorded.
But "fewer children were killed than last year", said Mr. Cele, with child murders down by 20%. "We are gradually making up ground on the criminals", the minister said.
By way of comparison, South Africa records an average of ten homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, while Japan is close to zero and France one, according to the World Bank.
Sometimes described as the "epicentre of rape" because of the impressive number of complaints, South Africa opened more than 10,500 cases in the first three months of the year. This figure is down for once, with 2.8% fewer cases reported than over the same period last year.
Cash-in-transit attacks, on the other hand, rose by more than 20% and thefts from residences by almost 6%.