An alleged armed robber who was severely assaulted by members of the community before being rescued by police escaped from a hospital where he was not guarded.
He was rearrested later.
Sefiso Makwane of Vosman in Witbank, Mpumalanga, was apprehended by members of the community in connection with an armed robbery committed on Saturday.
Superintendent Izak van Zyl of Vosman police confirmed the case, saying Makwane was rescued from the angry mob on Saturday.
He was immediately whisked away to the police station.
He was taken to Witbank provincial hospital because of the seriousness of his injuries.
Van Zyl said the officer responsible for shifts at the station went to the hospital at about 7am on Sunday with the intention of placing leg-cuffs on Makwane.
"On arrival, he was told that the robber discharged himself from hospital the same day he was admitted," said Van Zyl.
The superintendent said later in the day police received a tip-off that he was back in his area and he was re-arrested.
He was charged with armed robbery and escaping from lawful custody.
At the time of going to press, he was still at court.