The latest violence has drawn attention to the persistent problem of vigilantism in South Africa, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world.
In a recent report released by the national police service, it was revealed that vigilantism was the cause of five percent of the nearly 50 homicides a day in the country.
“The broader public’s levels of tolerance with regard to the incidence of crime have reached breaking point,” the report said.
But police on Wednesday urged citizens not to take the law into their own hands.
“We strongly condemn this case of murder, because we do not want to encourage this mob justice,” Mzukisi Fatyela, a police spokesman in Mthatha, said.
“We want to send a strong message to the community: They should not take the law into their hands.”