Port Elizabeth community members hacked a man to death when they caught him stealing cables.
According to Die Burger, residents of the Soweto-on-Sea community attacked the man with pangas and other sharp objects when they caught him and three others red-handed.
The newspaper quotes police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge as saying various communities around the city were unhappy about escalating cable theft – which prompted the latest outrage.
Residents go without phones and electricity as a result of cable theft, and are also placed at risk because live cables are left exposed.
Previously, community members had apprehended cable thieves, but this is the first time they had meted such an extreme punishment.
Police have opened a murder docket and urged people not to take the law into their own hands.