Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on Sunday paid tribute to veteran Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, 88, after Buthelezi announced he will step down as IFP leader at the party's next national elective congress.
"As one of the foremost leaders in our nation's transition to democracy, he played a key role in creating a framework for a negotiated solution to the racial conflict in South Africa," Maimane said.
"I would like to thank iNkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi for his contribution to our country’s political history - in particular the role he played in KwaZulu-Natal in the early 1990's.
"We are appreciative for the 1994 decision Buthelezi took to participate in the first democratic South African elections after he initially refused.
"His decision meant that South Africa would have its first democratic election, which was held in 27 April 1994," he said.