Melbourne: Renowned sports journalist Peter Roebuck, who committed suicide in a Cape Town hotel under mysterious circumstances, allegedly wanted to have sex with a facebook friend against his will, a report claimed on Monday.

The 55-year-old Roebuck had jumped from the sixth floor of his Southern Sun Hotel in the suburb of Newlands after reportedly being questioned on sexual assault charges.

"It is alleged Roebuck, 55, met a man, 26, at the hotel with plans to discuss a possible university sponsorship.

"Roebuck is alleged to have tried to seduce the facebook friend and have sex with him against his will, The New Age website said," a newspaper reported on Monday.

According to reports in South Africa, Roebuck was being investigated over allegations of indecently assaulting a young man.

Police had told Roebuck that a complaint of a sexual nature had been made against him by a friend he met on facebook, media reports said.

The newspaper also reported that "Police sources said Roebuck was either going to be formally questioned in the Southern Sun Newlands Hotel on Saturday night, or arrested and taken to a station for questioning over the allegations."

"Apparently police had gone to the hotel to take him to the police station to question him and then he died," Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) spokesman Moses Dlamini was quoted as saying by the paper.

ICD is a body that reviews deaths that occur in police custody or as a result of police action - was also investigating the death of Roebuck.

Roebuck had helped house and educate many students in his adopted South African home town of Pietermaritzburg and one of the student, Dennis Chadya said the allegations were a shock.

"We cannot comment on the allegations as we have not heard anything official," he told the paper.

"But he was a father to me and I don't think any son would take that lightly. He was not only supporting us financially he was helping us with all accommodation and living expenses.

"All that he was doing here was giving. If you look at the number of people he helped throughout the world you can see he was one of a kind," he added.

Another student, Mathias Chirombo, said he had emailed Roebuck only hours before his death and still could not believe he would commit suicide.

"I'm trying to make sense of it all. I really don't get it - I want to know what really went wrong in just a few hours," he said.