A Mpumalanga man, who was assaulted by an angry mob, died in the Themba Hospital on Friday morning.
Police said residents accused the 25-year-old man from Masoyi near White River of being responsible for a spate of robberies and housebreaking in their area.
He had allegedly entered a house on Thursday and made off with a music system.
The residents chased and caught him.
"The man was found in possession of the allegedly stolen music system," said Masoyi police spokesman Inspector Jiyela Sibiya.
"The mob attacked him using different objects, including stones and sticks."
But one of the irate residents decided to call the police.
"When we arrived on the scene the man was still alive but badly wounded," Sibiya said.
"He was admitted to the nearest hospital, where he died the following day."
Sibiya condemned the action of the residents. He said they were supposed to arrest the suspect and then call the police.
"We really understand their anger but they have to allow the department of justice to play its role," he said.
"This case is not complicated since the suspect was caught red handed.
"We cannot divulge the name of the victim because we are still trying to locate his next of kin. It won't be a good thing for his family to learn about his death in a newspaper," said Sibiya.
He said police were investigating a case of murder.