ARMED robbery suspects hid from an angry crowd in tall reeds.
But there was no mercy for them on the Day of Reconciliation.
Two of his mates are behind bars after cops saved them from bloody deaths. And the hunt continues for the fourth man.
The men allegedly robbed a paraffin shop in extension 7, Diepsloot, north of Joburg on Monday.
Shopkeeper Zandile Nohamba (32) said three men asked to buy paraffin for R20.
“When I got out a container to fill it up for them, one pulled a gun. He forced me into my room while another one
slapped me. “They searched my bedroom and fled with R17000.”
Zandile said a fourth man stood guard at the door with his gun until the thugs ran away.
But Zandile’s shouts soon brought residents running.
Angry people gave chase as the men fled into the tall reeds at a nearby stream. The men opened fire in a failed attempt to scare off residents.
Meanwhile, a resident called police. They searched for the men with dogs while a chopper hovered above.
When police failed to find the suspects, residents kept watch on both sides of stream.
By late afternoon, the alleged robbers apparently thought it was safe to emerge from the murky water.
That’s when residents pounced on one, dragged him off and stoned him to death in front of the police.
The crowd wasn’t afraid of the warning shots a cop fired to save the man from bloody death. They also took the money hidden in the man’s socks.
Cops rescued two of the man’s alleged accomplices before the furious crowd could get hold of them.
Several residents voiced their unhappiness with the police.
Violet Maila (35) said: “The police failed us. If residents hadn’t stood guard at the river all day the robbers would have left without being touched or arrested.”
A resident who didn’t want to be named said he knew the alleged robbers well as they had cleaned cars with him in extension 7.
Constable Vincent Mashiteng of Honeydew Police Station said: “A business robbery case was opened and two suspects were arrested in connection with the robbery.
“The other suspect is still at large. But one community member was arrested and charged with the killing of the first suspect.”