A man suspected of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl in eNgonyameni in Umlazi township a week ago was stoned to death on Sunday, on the day the girl was buried.
The man, who cannot be named until his next of kin have been informed, was stoned to death by an angry mob, accusing him of being a serial child-killer.
The burial service for Nomzamo Maphumulo at her home was interrupted by sounds of people screaming.
Nomzamo's father, Linda Maphumulo yesterday said that when they went outside to investigate, they found an angry crowd, including women, assaulting a man they believed was his daughter's killer.
He said there was blood everywhere, as well as sticks and stones that were used in the attack.
"The locals had brought the man who they said killed my daughter so I could see him, but by then he could barely talk," said Maphumulo.
Maphumulo said the crowd claimed that the man had confessed to raping and killing his daughter and two other children from Chatsworth, a neighbouring township.
"The people who brought him said the man had confessed, saying my daughter was not the first child he had killed.
"They told me that he had apologised saying he had no idea why he killed all the children," said Maphumulo.
Maphumulo said he ordered the crowd to remove the man from the yard so that the service could continue before proceeding to the cemetery.
"The man must have died at the same time as we lowered my daughter to her grave," he said.
"The law of this country was very forgiving towards ruthless criminals, and no mercy should be shown to criminals who kill young, helpless children," he said.
Maphumulo was responding to what he thought of the decision by members of the community to take the law into their own hands was the right thing to do.
Nomzamo, who was a Grade 3 pupil, at Sphukwini Primary School, was killed last week after she was sent to a shop in the afternoon at about 3pm.
Her body was found that evening with a single stab wound, and she had been raped.
Police spokesman Daniella Veldhuizen confirmed that a man had been beaten to death by a mob in the area on Sunday, but could not confirm if he was linked to Nomzamo's killing.
"We are still investigating, we cannot say if he was the guy wanted for the murder."