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RESIDENTS of Diepsloot stoned three foreign nationals at the weekend - killing one of them - after accusing them of committing violent robberies in the area.
The attack, north of Johannesburg, took place late on Saturday afternoon after a member of the community spotted one of the men in a street in Extension1.
The resident reportedly accused him of having recently robbed him at gunpoint at a bridge in the area. Within a few minutes angry residents came out armed with pangas, sjamboks and sticks.
A resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "Residents were angry because there were a number of cases in which they were robbed of their belongings and cash at gunpoint in daylight, so they decided to teach the criminals a hard lesson.
"The angry mob stoned the men and assaulted them with various weapons while some fetched tyres and petrol to burn them."
A community leaders, Nelson Mphalele, told Sowetan: "The angry community had just begun to set one of the criminals alight when the police arrived."
He said the community had taken the law into their own hands because they claimed police were not doing their job.
"Our community is sick and tired of the police arresting criminals and within weeks they are released.
"Last week three people were murdered by thugs who robbed them of their belongings and the residents are now taking the law into their own hands to protect themselves."
Police spokesperson Captain Tessa Jansen said the victims were Zimbabwean nationals.
"We are looking for the person who pointed out one of the victims," she said. "The two victims who survived were treated and then released from Tembisa Hospital."
No arrests have been made. Police are investigating a case of murder.