TEARS marked the end of an era an the long political career of the Inkosi Nyanga Ngubane.
Ngubane, who was regarded as a peacemaker between the ANC and IFP at the height of political violence, was buried on Saturday.
Both ANC and IFP leaders battled to fight back tears when they bid farewell to their friend, colleague and compatriot.
Thousands of mourners gathered in a white tent in KwaZashuke in Bulwer.
The burial was a family affair with only amabutho allowed into the cemetery a few metres from Ngubane's home.
Speakers described him as a firm leader who worked for peace throughout his political career.
Premier Zweli Mkhize and members of the provincial legislature were among the mourners.
Fighting back tears, IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Ngubane had a nobility befitting his distinguished lineage.
"Inkosi was a gallant gentleman in an age where chivalry and good manners have become rare," Buthelezi said.