Students assaulted a group of robbers at the University of Limpopo's Mankweng campus, east of Polokwane, on Thursday, police said.

The eight men had robbed a student of a cellphone at 1am, Constable Moses Molepo said.

“The suspected thieves were apprehended by the students and were badly assaulted,” he said. About 100 students beat them with sticks, stones and other weapons.

Three of the robbers escaped and were later arrested by the police outside the university campus. The other five robbers were badly injured.

Molepo said the students stoned an ambulance called to take the injured robbers to hospital, but did not injure the medics. They also broke a campus office window.

The injured robbers were under police guard in hospital. A case of malicious injury to property had been opened, but no arrests had been made and police were investigating.

“Police are hereby making an appeal to all people to refrain from taking the law into their own hands,” said Molepo. – Sapa