'Phone thieves' stoned to death by South African mob


Six people face murder charges after they allegedly stoned to death two young men suspected of stealing a mobile phone in South Africa.

The group, including three women, allegedly killed the pair on Sunday evening, Limpopo Province police say.

They have urged people not to take the law into their own hands.

Correspondents say mobs often beat up and kill suspected thieves in South Africa, where many have lost faith in the justice system.

"The taking of the law by the community into their own hands is strongly condemned," Limpopo police spokesperson Lt-Col Mohale Ramatseba said in a statement.

"Any person suspected to have been involved in criminal activities should be reported to the police so that they can be prosecuted in the courts of law."

He said the alleged theft of the phone had not been reported to the police.

Vigilante justice is common in South Africa, where tensions are high in townships over poor housing, services and crime.

Two years ago, there was a wave of deadly mob attacks against foreigners, who were blamed for stealing jobs and rising crime.

The group will appear in court on 20 October.

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