ANC stalwart Moss Chikane has died after a period of illness, it emerged on Thursday.
The family said in a statement on Thursday morning that the retired diplomat had been unwell for some time and had been in and out of hospital.
He died on Wednesday night at the age of 69.
He leaves behind five sons and a daughter, three brothers and four sisters.
Chikane became an MP in 1994 after the country's first democratic elections.
In 2005, he was appointed as South Africa's Ambassador to Germany.
Five years later, he was posted to Zambia where he also served a full term as ambassador.
Chikane was one of the key leaders of the United Democratic Front and was convicted of treason with Popo Molefe, Mosiuoa Lekota and Tom Manthata in 1988.
Deputy minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, tweeted that that Chikane's joyful soul must rest in peace.
Spokesperson for the ANC Veterans and Stalwarts, Mpho Kgomotso Mosimane, confirmed to News24 that he received the news on Thursday morning and would issue a statement later.
The family said in their statement that funeral arrangements would be announced in due course.