The case was postponed to June 9, when the group are expected to lodge a formal bail application.

Meanwhile, only one of the nine men who the group is accused of attacking is still alive and remains in hospital. Five died on the scene while three others died in hospital after they were beaten and necklaced on Wednesday, May 19.

Mjonondwane said it appeared a group of community members embarked on a vigilante operation, hunting down those they blamed for terrorising the community.

“Nine [people] were taken forcefully from their homes, assaulted and ultimately burnt at the nearby soccer field,” she said.

Police minister Bheki Cele visited the area on Saturday, where community leaders informed him that those who took matters into their own hands did so because they had lost their faith in police tackling crime in the area.

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