Three teenagers were sjambokked before being handed over to the police by angry community members at Madras, near Bushbuckridge, in Mpumalanga on Wednesday night.
The three were suspected of being involved in the gruesome death of an elderly woman who was found mutilated and burnt.
The woman's body was found lying in the grass near the road.
Her face and other parts of her body were mutilated. She also had stab wounds to the head and burns on her buttocks and genitals.
The arrests come after a report published in Sowetan on Monday about the horrific find.
The community had come together and went to a house where the three teenagers lived .
A villager who wished to remain anonymous said the teenagers were part of "gangsters who terrorise us in the area".
Two of the suspects were taken to Matikwane Hospital where they are under police guard.
Calcutta police spokesman Constable Sydney Tshuketana confirmed the arrest and said the suspects will be taken to court as soon as the two have recovered.
"We thank the members of the community for the wonderful job they have done to identify the suspects," said Tshuketana.