Four suspects have appeared in court for their alleged part in violent protests that erupted in Seshego, Limpopo in January.
The suspects - Jossey Buthane, 40, Freddy Magongoa, 39, Obakeng Makhura, 42, and Oupa Ramaphoko, 39, - are facing charges of attempted murder, theft, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.
"This after they allegedly went on the rampage on January 12, looking for the persons they suspected of being criminals. In the process, the suspects allegedly damaged properties, kidnapped one of the persons and took him to a spot where he was assaulted until he lost consciousness. A firearm safe also went missing during the raid allegedly conducted by the suspects," explained provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
The protests in January began after residents met in the township's Zone 3 to discuss gangsterism, following the murder of 17-year-old Thoriso Kgomo by an alleged gang member, News24 previously reported.
"The community members then embarked on a search for the alleged criminals. They torched a shack and a house where two cellphones, a router and clothing were stolen," Mojapelo previously said.
At the time, residents were also angered by the arrest community leaders after violence broke out during a citizen arrest of some alleged gang members.
Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has strongly condemned the vigilante action.
"People wanting to assist the police in fighting crime must do so legally. Anyone who commits a crime in the name of assisting the police will be arrested regardless of his or her status in society," he said.
More arrests are expected.