President Jacob Zuma has labelled people who boo at him "empty vessels who make the most noise", The New Age reported on Wednesday.
‘Rape is a Plague’: Zulu King
"These ugly criminal acts are no longer just isolated incidents, but they now constitute a plague," he said opening the KwaZulu-Natal House of Traditional leaders in Ulundi, according to a copy of his speech.
"This situation warrants urgent attention as it is reaching epidemic proportions."
He urged traditional leaders to encourage people to work with the police.
"We need to ensure that we eliminate all forms of anti-social behaviour amongst our communities.
"But traditional leaders, through their traditional councils and all traditional formations in tribal authorities, should take the lead in this campaign if we are to restore our good image as a province where ubuntu, respect for one another and dignified behaviour are the cornerstones of our nation."
Zwelithini said joblessness was no excuse for committing crimes.
news in pictures