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Mangaung police on high alert after vigilante attacks

Police have reiterated that community members should not take the law into their own hands.

FILE: The scene after a fourth teenager survived a necklacing in Etwatwa. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Free State Police Commissioner Simon Mpembe has called for calm in Mangaung after one person was killed and another was seriously injured in vigilante attacks.

Police say a group of about 500 people went to various schools and premises in Heidedal on Wednesday looking for gang members.

It comes as authorities remain on high alert in hot spot communities, including Etwatwa in Gauteng, where three teenagers believed to be part of the OVL gang were necklaced.

Free State police's Billy Jones says the community members attacked a man in Heidedal, believing he was part of a gang committing crime.

The gang then went to phase four in Manguang, where they beat a man to death.

Jones says preliminary investigations have confirmed that the two men were not related to any gang.

"If you have any information of any criminality or even gangsterism, alert us so that we can join hands in dealing with the matter and not unlawful activities."

A murder and attempted murder case have been opened.

Police remain on high alert in the area.