Cape Town - Two suspects got the slap of their lives when they tried to rob people using a toy gun.
The men, who were later identified as members of the Hard Livings gang, were held captive by the community until police came to arrest them.
The suspects tried their luck with people in Portland, Mitchells Plain, who were heading to work at 7am on Monday.
A community member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they heard screaming and spotted the two running off with someone’s handbag.
They were chased down in Hazeldene Road.
The community says they have had enough of crime in the area and took a stand to protect people who work hard for their families.
When the residents discovered the suspects’ gun was fake, the men were beaten up.
Aunties, uncles, young men and even children took turns to hit the suspects.
The witness says: “I can’t say what angered me more: the nerve they had for taking from hardworking people; or the fact that they had that plastic gun and were terrorising their own people.
“We all live here. Ek ken die twee laaities and their families as well. I am disappointed, but ek sal hulle weer moer. (I know the two young men and their families well. I am disappointed but I will beat them up again.)”
The men were badly beaten - one even passed out - while the other one was told to pose with the toy gun in his hand.
Another woman, with a dress full of blood, said she had beaten the one who robbed her, and sat with them in the street until the police arrived.
“We kept them until the police came. They got a lekker pak and won’t soema come back this way. They mos know what they’re gonna get,” said the angry aunty.
Last weekend, about 40 residents in Mandalay stoned three men to death after they were caught breaking into a house.
A fourth man survived the mob justice attack and was taken to hospital.
SAPS did not respond to queries by Monday night.