Durban - In Angry residents of KwaNdengezi near Pinetown have hacked and stabbed to death a man they accused of cable theft.
Residents assaulted the man on Friday after accusing him of causing power failures in the area.
Police discovered his body on Mkhangoma Road in KwaNdengezi.
They are investigating a case of murder.
In Pietermaritzburg, residents of Copesville, who have been victims of electricity theft by their neighbours in the informal settlements bordering the suburb, told the Daily News on Sunday that two cable thieves had been caught and assaulted on Friday night.
“We have become tired of calling the police because as soon as the cops leave, it starts all over again. We have taken the law into our own hands now.
“The thieves we caught were taught a good lesson,” said one of the residents who requested anonymity.
Copesville residents have experienced several blackouts and power outages over the past two years as a result of cable theft and illegal electricity connections.
The Msunduzi municipality is in the process of electrifying informal settlements in the city in an attempt to curb electricity theft.
Police commissioner Mmamonyeni Ngobeni urged residents not to take the law into their own hands.
“Vigilantism will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be prosecuted,” she said.
Meanwhile, the owner of LTV Scrap Metals in Pietermaritzburg, Yugen Govender, who was arrested recently on a charge of possessing suspected stolen copper cable, was granted bail of R5 000 in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Govender appeared in court alongside his employee, Wonderboy Ngubane, who was arrested on May 6 following a raid on the dealership that netted an estimated R150 000 worth of allegedly stolen copper cable.
Ngubane was remanded in custody pending a formal bail application on May 21.
LTV Scrap Metals was raided by Msunduzi Municipality’s electricity theft task team, which had mounted an undercover operation in the city to combat cable theft.