Parliament, Cape Town - South Africans need to work together to rebuild the spirit of ubuntu and shed the violent legacy of apartheid, President Jacob Zuma said during his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

“We have a collective responsibility to build a society that respects the rule of law, respects one another and which respects life and property,” he said.

“We should work together to rebuild ubuntu and a culture of responsibility in our society.”

Deaths during recent violent protests was “not a small matter”, Zuma said.

“We need to know what happened, why it happened.”

Corrective action needed to be taken against wrongdoing and police were required to act within the law.

Society should be concerned that almost 800 police officers were killed between 2005 and 2013.

“Police are protectors and are the buffer between a democratic society based on the rule of law, and anarchy. As we hold the police to account, we should be careful not to end up delegitimising them and glorify anarchy in our society.”

South Africa's culture of violence had its origins in apartheid, and introspection was needed to shed this legacy, he said.

Sapa