A SUSPECT is in hospital with serious injuries after allegedly being assaulted by "members of the community", while his co-accused is on the run after a botched hijacking in a sleepy Mpumalanga village.

Police say two men, one armed with a gun, broke into businessman Snepi Mohlamonyane's house in Lefiso village near Marapyane in KwaMhlanga.

One of the suspects allegedly pointed the firearm at Mohlamonyane, while the other demanded cash and valuables.

"The two suspects took about R8000 in cash and expensive designer clothes and drove off in a Toyota Tazz, which was parked in the yard," said Mmametlhake police spokesperson Constable Hastings Chaane.

"But the suspects were very unfortunate. Not far from Mohlamonyane's home the hijacked car got stuck in the sand, forcing the two to flee on foot."

"A member of the community who saw the suspects told police he knew them and that they were from Mogoto village in Zebediela.

"Our preliminary investigations revealed that the men had visited a friend in Lefiso village. The friend had allegedly pointed Mohlamonyane's house out to them.

"After establishing that both suspects were from Mogoto village in Zebediela the police went there looking for them."

Chaane said the police found one of the suspected hijackers being assaulted "by members of the community", who claimed that he had drawn a firearm.

Chaane said at this stage it looked as if the people who assaulted the suspect were friends and relatives of the hijack victim.

While interrogating the badly beaten suspect police allegedly received information that his accomplice had been seen nearby.

The police rushed off to look for him.

The second suspect, who was identified as Dickson Chokwe, could not be found.

The police took the injured man to hospital.

"He is lucky to be alive. He was really hurt before being taken to hospital," a witness at the scene said.

Anyone with information about Chokwe's whereabouts is asked to contact Inspector David Ledwaba on 012-721-3791 or 072-326-3176.