Three KwaZulu-Natal farms were vandalised and the houses set alight by Eshowe residents after a man was shot dead while fishing at a local farm dam.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said Gift Siphamandla Xulu, 30, was shot dead by a security guard while fishing on Gqobhokani farm, about five kilometres outside the Eshowe CBD.

Tensions grew on Thursday morning and residents barricaded the R66 with burning tyres and rubble. The road links Eshowe with Melmoth and Vryheid.

The security guard was due to make his first appearance on murder charges in the Eshowe Magistrate’s Court on Friday.