File picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - An elderly woman known as Silvia Thandiwe Dyasi has been attacked in her home and hacked to death by an axe-wielding man wearing a balaclava, police said on Friday.

The bloody attack was witnessed by relatives who were with Dyasi in the house at Mabheleni Locality, Candu Village, Dutywa. Police said the shocking  murder happened on Thursday at about 8.50 pm.

"It is alleged that a man who was wearing a balaclava came to the home of the 85-year-old woman," said police in a terse statement, adding that the intruder, who was armed with an axe, hacked Dyasi and she died on the spot.

Shocked relatives told police that the attacker "ran away" and was yet to be arrested.

Police are appealing to anyone with information about the suspect to contact Dutywa Police @ 047 489 1333 or Crime Stop 08600 10111. 

African News Agency/ANA