A car belonging to one of the men accused by a mob of being involved in the abduction of a child was flipped over and the men attacked. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/ANA

Durban - A violent mob has beaten, stabbed and stoned to death two men they believed had kidnapped a child. This in the heart of busy Pinetown, near Durban, late on Tuesday afternoon.

Massive crowds gathered around two sites that had been cordoned off - one in Stanfield Lane and another in Hill Street.

Witnesses said the two men who were attacked, were accused of abducting a child.

This appears, however, to have been a misunderstanding.

Hundreds of people first swooped on the men in Stanfield Lane and toppled a car.

One of the men attempted to make a run for it but a breakaway group gave chase and cornered him in Hill Street.

By the time police reached him, he was lying dead on the sidewalk.

Apparently the group that had remained in Stanfield Lane, was trying to set their victim there on fire when authorities arrived.

Initial reports suggested the men might have been foreign nationals but witnesses said they were from Gauteng.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said police were investigating.

The Mercury