A man is fighting for his life after being "stoned" by an angry mob of people right on the doorstep of the Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, the Gauteng Department of Health said on Sunday.
It is alleged a group of angry community members - believed to be from nearby Munsieville - stoned the patient after he arrived at the hospital for treatment.
The man was "dragged outside the casualty area and brutally stoned," the department said in a statement.
It said it was saddened by the "gruesome attack" which happened on Sunday morning.
"We have learnt with a deep sadness and great shock that around 07:30 a patient who was brought to Dr Yusuf Dadoo Hospital by an ambulance to receive medical treatment following an alleged altercation in Munsieville was dragged outside the casualty area and brutally stoned by an angry mob who came to the facility in three or four minibus combis," Gauteng Health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa was quoted as saying.
Ramokgopa, who visited the hospital to assess the situation there, condemned the incident and further urged community members to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
"I am urging our community members not to take the law into their own hands and to respect and protect healthcare facilities as they are in existence to provide crucial life-saving services to those who are in need of medical attention.
"While the matter has been reported to the police, this barbaric incident should be condemned in the strongest terms and the perpetrators should face the full might of the law," she added.
"I have just visited the hospital to assess the situation and our prayers and thoughts are with the injured patient.
"Counselling services will also be offered to our health workers who witnessed this gruesome attack," Ramokgopa concluded.