Suffering from prostate cancer, a retired South African advocate has died on the same day that the Pretoria High Court ruled he could legally end his life.
His family did not say if he died before or after the judge passed what they called a ground-breaking judgment.
The family of 65-year-old Robert Stransham Ford say he died peacefully in the presence of family and carers.
Dignity SA, which lobbies for assisted suicide legislation, specifies he dies of natural causes.
The organisation says it expects the ruling to set in motion the process of legalising assisted dying in South Africa
The High Court in Pretoria ruled that Stransham-Ford could have a doctor help him die and
that the doctor would be protected from prosecution.
Medically-assisted suicide remains illegal in South Africa, but there have
been growing calls for it to be legalised.
Judge Hans Fabricius saYS in his ruling that Stransham-Ford was entitled
to end his life, either by administration of a lethal agent or by providing
the applicant with the necessary lethal agent to administer himself.
Five years ago, a South African professor, Sean Davison, living in New Zealand was found guilty by a court there of helping his cancer-stricken mother take her own life.
He was placed under house arrest for five months.