Accusations were made. The crowd became a mob.
By Monday, at least six people had been killed, four of them beaten and burned alive, and two stoned to death, according to police. One of the first to die was a 61-year-old sangoma or traditional healer, James Magagula, who was accused of helping the Casanova gang by giving them traditional medicine to make them powerful.
Some reports suggested he was the father of a gangster and was implicated in the killing of a member of a rival gang. A mob surrounded his house and set it alight, with the old man inside, according to South African police.
It's South Africa's gruesome new twist on the "necklacing" of the apartheid era, when men suspected to be spies or collaborators were burned to death, often by having tires full of gasoline tied around their necks and set on fire.
Vigilante killings are common in South African townships, where communities feel that police don't respond quickly or effectively enough to crimes.
The pair ran.
"After beating them, they sent someone to buy paraffin and doused them with it, put a tire on them and set them alight," Mbaxa said.
"While I was at the other side of the township, my older son phoned to say my son was being burned. I have never seen a more terrible scene in my life," he told the populist tabloid Daily Sun newspaper, which ran a front page headline "Necklaced!"
"If they trusted me, they would have told me that my child was on the list of the people they were looking for. They did not even tell me they had killed him, I only arrived there to find the ashes," he told the Star.
"I was in church when my daughter phoned to tell me my son had been set alight. I rushed home to find him lying dead with smoke coming from his body," she said.
She said he was not a gang member, but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
No arrests have been made, with many residents complicit in the killings and witnesses unwilling to report what they saw to police.
One 32-year-old who claimed to have taken part told the paper, "What we did on Sunday is a sample of what the community is prepared to do." He declined to give his name. "We have held meetings and we have agreed to end this gangsterism by punishing them ourselves."
The Sun reported another unnamed resident saying, "If the police let them go because they are under age, we will make sure they pay for their sins. We will burn them with tires as we did on Sunday."