IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has been honoured with the prestigious Order of Saint Michael and All Angels by the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

The church, which celebrates its 140th anniversary this month, honoured Shenge for his "distinguished service in the Zululand diocese".

The award was presented on Sunday. It was not the first honour to be bestowed on Buthelezi by the church.

He had previously been awarded the Order of Simon of Cyrene, the highest order given by the bishops of the church for distinguished service.

Membership of this order is limited to 60.

In addition, Buthelezi had previously been awarded the Order of Saint Mark by the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa (Egypt).

This order was awarded to him by the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Africa.

Dino Gabriel, the bishop of Zululand, said Buthelezi had treasured his Christian upbringing throughout his long life, which gave him the strength to persevere in times of victimisation, turmoil and change.

"Against all odds he remained a faithful and devoted member of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and of the Diocese of Zululand in particular," Gabriel said.