A teenaged boy was beaten and set alight in a Cape Town informal settlement at the weekend, it was reported on Monday.
The Cape Times reported that a mob removed Sakhumzi Mawu, 18, from his home in Samora Machel around 5pm on Saturday.
Residents had allegedly found stolen goods in his room.
His aunt, Thembakazi Ngombane, told the newspaper she felt helpless watching the mob attack him.
“I could see that his body was already weak by the time they took him up the road and put a burning tyre on him,” she said.
“I could hear him crying and screaming and I felt bad, but there was nothing I could do about it.”
Provincial police spokesman Andre Traut said no arrests had been made as yet.
“We will not allow the public to take the law into their own hands, and we will treat those who do as common criminals,” he said.
Mawu’s mother Thandi said her son had stolen a number of items from their shack in the last eight years.
“I think he started using drugs in 2004. He stole our TV, DVD and clothes... they found those people’s things in his room, so I can’t do anything.”