Former South African President Jacob Zuma Photo: AP Photo

Durban - Former state president, Jacob Zuma, has heaped praise upon Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi who celebrated his 90th birthday on Monday. 

Zuma was amongst a number of high ranking officials who made their way to the Prince Mangosuthu regional stadium in Ulundi where celebrations got underway.

Taking to the stage, Zuma called Buthelezi a “hero who would always show respect to both the old and the young".

Zuma said Buthelezi was a teacher who taught him that one can express their views without being disrespectful.

He added that he would not have missed Buthelezi’s 90th birthday celebrations becuase he fully appreciated the contribution made by the political leader.

Commenting at his father’s celebrations, Prince Zuzifa Buthelezi said his father never tried to push his children to take up politics.

Listen to Buthelezi's response when the crowd sang the traditional happy birthday song and then asked, "How old are you now?"

The Mercury