Internationally respected editor and human rights campaigner John Sutherland has died at a Port Elizabeth hospital early on Saturday at the age of 86. He had been in a serious condition for more than a week after falling on the stairs at Port Elizabeth's St George's Club.

Sutherland was the founding editor of the now defunct Evening Post and Saturday Post, the forerunner to East Cape Weekend.

Sutherland, honoured by former president Nelson Mandela in his autobiography, was known as a pioneering editor and a vigorous opponent of apartheid.

He leaves two sons, Peter, who is a professor at the University of Scotland, and Murray, who works for the Australian government. - Sapa