Johannesburg - Destruction of property and violence are the only voices of the powerless, Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele said on Sunday.
"Destruction and violence are used by the powerless because they feel disrespected," she told her supporters in Ekangala, east of Pretoria.
She visited Ekangala following violent protests in the area.
"Before we condemn those who burn buildings, let us sit with them and hear what their concerns are," she said.
Violence should however be not be condoned.
"It is wrong to burn down public buildings and perpetrate violence. Those belong to you as the community."
She said it was time to remove "the rats" from government.
"Corruption destroys the economy and people's lives."
Ramphele said South Africa's economy could grow at a rate of more than eight percent if the country was managed by a government committed to its people.