Zuma issues warning to violent protesters

President Jacob Zuma said authorities will properly deal with violent protesters.

President Jacob Zuma has warned that authorities will deal with violent protesters.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma on Friday came down hard on violent protesters saying government would no longer tolerate people who destroyed property and blockaded roads.

Zuma was speaking at a _New Age _business breakfast at the Grandwest Casino, the morning after his State of the Nation Address.

The first question that Zuma had to tackle was how government would combat crime.

In a lengthy response, Zuma began by blaming apartheid for the level of violence in the country.

"Violence is a direct consequence of apartheid which had a very violent system."

He explained violence had become a societal problem.

Zuma said protesters who carried dangerous weapons and destroyed property were wrong.

"You have no right when you are fighting with a company, to come by my house and destroy my house."

Zuma said special courts would be set up to deal with incidents of public violence.

Violent protests have become a norm during service delivery protests and industrial action.

In January, Sasolburg residents went on a rampage following an announcement to merge two municipalities.

The protesters torched municipal properties and looted shops.

Two people were killed during the violence.