The Democratic Alliance has asked police watchdog IPID to probe the police's alleged involvement in crime in Rosettenville.
There was "growing evidence" from residents about Rosettenville police officers being involved in crimes, the party said in a statement.
Locals said drug and prostitution had been allowed to continue unabated because police officers were on the payroll of local criminals.
"It is not unusual for drug and organised crime heavyweights to pay police off to evade law enforcement. The IPID must investigate this very real possibility in Rosettenville," the DA said.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they had received a letter from the DA and would respond in due course.
On Saturday, residents set fire to about 10 houses they claimed were being used by drug lords. This was after they held a meeting to discuss ways of fighting crime in the area. They then blocked roads with burning tyres and called for drug lords and brothel owners to leave their suburb.
The DA claimed that despite the community supplying information and leads to police, no action was taken.
Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said police were turning against law-abiding citizens to protect criminals.
"It is very sad that people had to turn to such drastic actions, burning houses and other valuable properties, taking the law into their own hands before government can respond."
Bloem said residents claimed to have reported criminal activities for years.
"Parents are crying and complaining that drugs are freely available to their children and that girls are lured into prostitutions at tender ages."
Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela told News24 that the DA was within its rights to write to the IPID. Gauteng police would issue a statement on Rosettenville soon, he said.