PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has blamed substance abuse for the action of protesters who damage public property while protesting.Speaking at the House of Christ Family Church in Imbali yesterday, Zuma said it was clear that there was something wrong with “our nation”.He referred to the Vuwani protest, where 21 schools were torched by protesters, and the damage caused by last year’s university fees protest under the banner #FeesMustFall.“When the number of schools burnt escalates to 21, and when tertiary institution students destroy the higher learning institutions, you have to ask yourself whether drug abuse is not the cause of this.“Drugs reduce your thinking ability. It makes you do things without thinking. You pastors need to pray for this to end or else this nation will perish.“I know we ought to apprehend them, but how can we? Some of them carry guns and they will kill you because they are under influence and do not think before acting,” he said.Zuma told congregants that no words could describe the murder of former SABC anchor and board member Hope Zinde, whose body was found in the boot of her car at her home in Gauteng over a week ago. Her son, Mark Warona Zinde, was subsequently arrested and has been charged with her murder, as well as drug possession.“It is shocking. We have to put an end to this,” the president said.With the Independent Electoral Commission raising concerns amid violence that has erupted ahead of local government elections, Zuma asked the congregation to pray for peaceful elections.“Pray for those who are angry so that they can calm down,” he said.Zuma also called for the pastor to teach voters to vote for the “right organisation”. Without mentioning any political party by name, Zuma pleaded with congregants not to vote for “people who are angry”.“Do not vote for people who are angry - you are killing this country. Some of them are just in politics to make a living.” he said.During the church service, Zuma received the assurance that the Moses Mabhida Region leadership would continue supporting him.Regional top brass including chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane, secretary Mzi Zuma and deputy secretary Maphindi Zondi attended the service.Dlungwane told Zuma not to ever doubt the support of the region.“We will continue supporting you,” he said.Dlungwane also took the chance to introduce the party’s surprise Msunduzi mayoral candidate, Themba Njilo.Njilo arrived at the church service alongside the regional leadership and high-ranking officials including deputy mayor Thobani Zuma and Umgungundlovu District deputy mayor Thandiwe “Fucwana” Zungu.By the time the group arrived, Msunduzi Mayor and regional deputy chairperson Chris Ndlela had long left the building.Dlungwane said the party had confidence in Njilo.Qouting from the Bible, Dlungwane said the ANC was here to stay. “The ANC was formed at church by faith leaders. No man can destroy it,” he said. — Witness Reporter.