Johannesburg - A battle against crime has left residents of Mohlakeng, Randfontein, under siege.
A fight broke out on Thursday night between hostel dwellers and the township’s residents.
The stand-off was allegedly caused by residents’ unhappiness about crime in the area.
They believe criminals living in the nearby hostels are responsible for criminal activities in the township.
The hostel dwellers started burning tyres and sticks, while the residents were throwing rocks at them until late on Thursday night.
Residents said one group of criminals robbed 28 people while they were heading home after a gathering at the Mohlakeng stadium during the long Easter weekend.
“The thugs take your earrings, cellphone and money and sometimes even your clothes just to spite you,” said a resident, who did not want to be named.
She said the township residents had decided on Wednesday to find the criminals and “sort them out”.
They also wanted to burn the containers, which they said were hiding valuable stolen goods.
“The gang leader is a teenager who goes by the name of Poison. He was badly beaten and is in hospital.
“The community are looking for the rest of his friends,” she said.
The stand-off has been going on since the incident on Wednesday.
Other residents claimed that people were raped after being robbed.
It is alleged that one man was killed on Wednesday because of the crime.
“Enough is enough. We want to take back our community, we want them out,” said resident Nhlanhla Mngadi.
Residents said the hostel dwellers had threatened to attack them while they were at home.
On Thursday night, there was a strong police presence in the neighbourhood.
Roads were blocked off and vehicles were encouraged to use alternative routes to get to their destinations.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police in the area would continue to monitor the situation.
“The police are in talks with the hostel dwellers,” he told The Star.