A man has died in hospital after he and another man were set alight in Hillbrow, Johannesburg on Monday.
The alleged attack happened after residents accused the two men of stealing a handbag from a woman.
"The community chased them down and caught them. Unfortunately, once they were caught they applied mob justice," Captain Kay Makhubele told News 24 on Tuesday.
The second man remains in hospital, where he is being treated for his injuries.
No arrests have yet been made.
Police are investigating one count of murder and one of attempted murder.