Dr Alex Boraine, former vice-chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, died at the age of 87 on Wednesday.
Boraine's son, Jeremy Boraine, confirmed the news to News24.
According to Jeremy, his father was in remission from cancer, but had been in decline of late.
"He had a fall a week ago and stopped eating. He just became weaker and weaker."
Jeremy said his father passed away somewhere between midnight and 02:00 on Wednesday, at his home in a retirement village in Constantia, Cape Town.
Boraine is most famous for proposing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as well as being its vice-chair alongside Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, from 1996 to 1998.
This is a developing story.