Johannesburg – ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Saturday paid tribute to former Pan Africanist Congress leader Clarence Mlamli Makwetu, who died on April 1. Makwetu, 88, was laid to rest in Hoyita village in the Eastern Cape on Saturday. Mantashe described Makwetu as a great leader who played a formative role in the country’s transition to democracy. "The late Comrade Makwetu joined the anti-apartheid struggle whilst still in his teens. Although his political association in the public mind is primarily with the PAC, it is a little known fact that he was an active member of the African National Congress Youth League in Cape Town in the 1950's - going on to play a formative role in the establishment of the PAC," Mantashe said in a statement. Makwetu was a political activist for 40 years and was banned and arrested several times for his anti-apartheid activities. In 1962 he was arrested and sentenced to five years imprisonment on Robben Island.In 1994, he became one of the PAC's three MPs in South Africa's first democratic Parliament.He was also awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver by President Jacob Zuma for his contribution to the struggle for a non-racist, non-sexist, democratic South Africa."The ANC joins the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and the whole of South Africa in mourning the passing of this great pioneer whose unwavering commitment to the equality of all South Africans laid the foundations for the egalitarian society we enjoy today."Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and loved ones of the late Comrade Clarence Makwetu."