Rival black leaders Nelson Mandela and Mangosuthu Buthelezi met Tuesday in their first direct peace talks to stop the factional strife between the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The talks were held in an "excellent" spirit, Inkatha President Buthelezi said during a break in the one-day meeting at a hotel in the Indian Ocean port city of Durban, but he also warned against over-optimism.