President Jacob Zuma has called for a "national cleansing ceremony" led by archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu to help reset South Africa's moral compass, local media reported Friday.
Zuma said the ceremony was necessary in the light of incidents such as Marikana -- when 34 miners were killed by police -- and crimes such as the rape of elderly women, according to state broadcaster SABC.
"We have a problem that respect for life has almost come to zero... People today find it's very easy to kill another person," he was quoted as saying.
Zuma was speaking at a traditional cleansing ceremony in his native KwaZulu-Natal.
Purification ceremonies are an important part of some African societies, including Zuma's own Zulu culture.