Police in Phalaborwa have imposed a curfew after a series of criminal acts rocked the mining town recently.
Residents have to be in their yards by midnight and gigs and pubs must be closed by 11pm over weekends.
People found loitering in the streets after the curfew will be arrested and charged with defeating the ends of justice.
The decision was preci- pitated by the brutal killing on Sunday of Robert Julian, a local businessman.
"Julian was asleep with his wife when three men stormed into his home and asked him about his son's whereabouts," provincial police spokesman Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said yesterday.
"They threatened to kill him if he did not reveal where his son was."
The men allegedly tied his wife up against a wall and later killed her husband before slitting his throat in full view of the woman.