The police spent hours on Monday retrieving the bodies of four men burnt to death after being accused of stock theft.
The bodies were found on a river bank in Mphangana Village, Libode after the victims had been reported missing on Sunday.
According to residents, the men had caused chaos in the village and left many kraals empty.
The events that led to their death started on Sunday, when one of the victims fought with his wife and shot her, wounding her in the arm with a bullet.
“The woman ran to her family home and word spread quickly about what had happened. Soon an angry crowd had formed to find her husband,” said a resident.
“Once they caught him, they moered him and asked him about his role in stock theft. Three more men were then caught and accused of theft.”
The four men went missing on Sunday night and cops looked for them but bad weather meant they had to call off the search.
On Monday, cops from Mthatha arrived with dogs and found the bodies on the river bank.
By 6pm, the first two bodies had been recovered and village men helped the forensic team carry them up the hill to a van.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela confirmed that the bodies were recovered.
“No arrests have been made but the police are following strong leads to catch the killers,” he said. The motive for the killings had not yet been established.