Johannesburg - Three people were killed in an apparent mob justice attack in Mthatha, Eastern Cape police said on Thursday.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said residents of Chris Hani Park assaulted four men with bush knives, sticks and pangas on Wednesday. Three died and one managed to escape.
The community accused them of rape and robbery.
Nine people - men and women, aged between 22 and 29 - were arrested for the killings.
The nine were expected to appear in the Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Friday on murder charges.
Fatyela said the incident was not related to the elections.