Students from the University of Zululand have stoned a suspected criminal to death.
The man, identified as Thabani Masondo, 28, allegedly entered the students' residence armed on Monday.
In the past students had complained that their safety on the institution's premises was compromised because of lack of fencing.
Furious students told Sowetan that they opted to take the law into their own hands after seeing that security guards on campus failed to deal with the criminals.
"Our safety on the campus is not being considered by the authorities. And students were left with no choice but to defend themselves from criminals," a student said.
"We have been complaining that our belongings are stolen but the authorities are quiet."
It is believed that a mob of angry students stoned Masondo to death after a robbery on the campus.
Students representative council president Wandile Biyela confirmed the incident, saying that the students and the community in the area were victims of crimes.
Biyela said no mechanism had been put in place to deal with the situation.
"Students assaulted the man suspected of stealing their laptops in self-defence," he said.
"The suspect did not die on the campus. Stealing happens on campus but no one has been convicted.
"We will know the root of crime once police convict someone," Biyela said.
Police spokesperson Mbongeni Mdlalose said students were attacked by Masondo with a knife.
"The deceased stole two laptops and two cellphones in the students' rooms and fled.
"Students gave chase, caught up with him and stoned him to death."
Mdlalose said police recovered two laptops and two cellphones at the scene.