Two elderly women died instantly when they were struck by lightning in Ngqamakhwe, Eastern Cape, provincial police said on Friday.

Police spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said it was believed that the deceased had been attending a homecoming ceremony for initiates when the lightning struck.

"An 84-year-old woman and another, 64, were struck to death by lightning on Thursday at about 14:00 at Ntlebi Locality, Matolweni Village, in Ngqamakhwe."

Manatha said an inquest docket had been opened by the Ngqamakhwe police.

"The identities of both deceased people are being withheld, as some of their close relatives are yet to be informed of their deaths," he said.

Meanwhile, a 40-year-old man and his young nephew died after being struck by lightning while taking refuge under a tree during a thunderstorm in Dihlophaneng Ga-Molepo on Thursday afternoon.

The victims were taken to the local clinic where they were certified dead on arrival.