Police shot and killed a man who pointed a toy firearm at them in Willowvale, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.
Captain Jackson Manatha said the man was among a group of eight men police spotted breaking into a house in Nkelekethe village on Saturday afternoon.
"The men were cornered, but two of them managed to flee on foot," he said.
A chase ensued in which one of the fleeing men was cornered again.
He produced a firearm and ran towards police who then fired several shots at him.
"Police responded in self-defence killing the suspect instantly," said Manatha.
It was later established that the firearm in the man's possession had been a toy. A knife was also found in his possession.
Six men were arrested and detained at the Willowvale police station.
They were expected to appear in the Willowvale Magistrate's Court soon to face a charge of house robbery.
The men were also linked to other house robberies reported in the area. The eighth man was still at large.