As it happened: Nelson Mandela memorial service

Key Points

  • Nelson Mandela's official memorial service is being held at Soweto's FNB stadium in front of a huge crowd
  • It is one of the biggest gatherings of international dignitaries in recent years, with more than 90 current heads of state or government attending
  • To cheers, US President Barack Obama hailed Mr Mandela as the "last great liberator of the 20th Century", but South African President Jacob Zuma was booed
  • On his way to the stage, Mr Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, a rare gesture of friendship between two deeply opposed nations
  • Mr Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria from 11-13 December. His state funeral is on Sunday in his Eastern Cape village of Qunu
  • All times in GMT
  1.  
    0653:

    Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the official memorial service in honour of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela.

     
  2.  
    0655:

    Thousands of South Africans are singing and dancing inside the FNB stadium in Soweto under an overcast sky as they await the start of the ceremony.

     
  3.  
    0700:

    Those paying tribute will include four of Mandela's grandchildren, a former fellow inmate of his at Robben Island, the UN secretary general, and chair of the African Union commission. The six presidents due to speak include Barack Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba. Here's a fuller list of world leaders attending

     
  4.  
    0701:

    You can see a 360 degree photograph from inside the FNB stadium of the TV broadcast zone.

     
  5.  
    0704:

    BBC correspondents are describing the mood as carnival-esque.

    A woman celebrates in the tribune before the memorial service for Nelson Mandela
     
  6.  
    Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

    tweets: Chanting crowd sprinting gleefully through stadium corridors shouting "Viva ANC!"

     
  7.  
    0708:

    "I'm here to mourn Mandela's passing and to celebrate and honour his legacy," spectator Nthabiseng Seleoane tells the BBC's Nomsa Maseko.

    Nthabiseng Seleoane
     
  8.  
    0710:

    "The rain has not had an impact on attendance... Many see it as a blessing, as is the case in African culture," reports the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

     
  9.  
    0716: James Robbins Diplomatic correspondent

    says the atmosphere in the stadium reflects both the global sense of loss and a distinctly South African way of combining grief with celebration.

     
  10.  
    Digital Classroom SA

    tweets: Official programme #MadibaMemorial

    Mandela memorial programme
     
  11.  
    Tracey Nichols in South Africa

    tweets: In South Africa we dance when we are happy, we dance when we are angry, we dance when we are sad. Today we dance for you #MandelaMemorial

     
  12.  
    0723: The BBC's Will Ross

    says Zolani Mkiva, the long-time praise singer of Nelson Mandela, is expected to give a lively tribute at the stadium.

     
  13.  
    0725:

    The Jacaranda News team has posted this video of the crowds singing and cheering in the stadium.

     
  14.  
    Annaleigh Vallie in South Africa

    tweets: Finally in the stadium after my train broke down and we had to walk 3km - still smiling

     
  15.  
    Mike Wooldridge World Affairs correspondent

    says the world is coming to South Africa, the government here say of the significance of Nelson Mandela's memorial service today and his funeral. In scale, they are right. And in symbolism and testimony to his global influence too. While he was in prison, the campaign for his release reflected the way the overwhelming majority of the world came to see him as the hope for forging South Africa into a democratic and non-racial nation.

     
  16.  
    The FT's Andrew England

    tweets: Comrade to his comrade at Mandela Memorial "You can't do 8 hours in the rain, Mandela did 27 years in jail, you are going soft"

     
  17.  
    0732:

    People are continuing to stream into the stadium in Johannesburg.

    People celebrate as they arrive at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg to attend the memorial service for Nelson Mandela
     
  18.  
    Sam Mkokeli

    a journalist with the Sunday Times in Qunu tweets: Growing up in Mqhekezweni, Mandela shared this hut with cousin Justice Mtirara.

    Copyright Sam Mkokeli
     
  19.  
    0738: The BBC's Nomsa Maseko

    says: United in song, the crowd starts singing "Mandela, Madiba you're my president".

     
  20.  
    The BBC's Ros Atkins

    tweets: There's a mass choir getting ready to sing on the right-hand stage here at the #FNB. #MandelaMemorial

    FNB stadium
     
  21.  
    Jacaranda Newsteam

    tweets: President Obama when he arrived in South Africa shortly after 7am for the #MandelaMemorial

    Air Force One plane
     
  22.  
    Tebogo Vincent from Johannesburg

    tweets: It is beautiful at FNB Stadium #MandelaMemorial Thank You Madiba for uniting us even posthumously.

     
  23.  
    0746:

    "If you haven't left home, you probably won't get into stadium," says the anchor on SABC2.

     
  24.  

    You can listen LIVE to the BBC World Service broadcasting from inside the FNB stadium in Soweto.

     
  25.  
    0749:

    Here is a selection of images put together by the BBC's picture editor Phil Coomes.

    Crowds in the FNB stadium in Johannesburg
     
  26.  
    Epyk Living in South Africa

    tweets: Wow... South Africans never cease to amaze, getting goosebumps just seeing the pride and patriotism. #MandelaMemorial #RIPNelsonMandela

     
  27.  
    0753: Karen Allen Southern Africa correspondent, BBC News

    says: A flame for Mandela is burning in the grounds of Parliament in Cape Town, where people have also come to sign books of condolence.

    Tribute outside parliament in Cape Town
     
  28.  
    0800:

    "Madiba's best advice? Stand up for yourself, have focus and determination." Listen to Nandi and Tukweni Mandela on grief, privacy, family matters and memories of Madiba on the BBC's Newsday programme.

     
  29.  
    0803:

    According to the order of service, the National Anthem will be sung by a Mass Choir. There will then be welcome and opening remarks by programme directors followed by interfaith prayers. Tributes will follow by family friend Andrew Mlangeni, family member General Thanduxolo Mandela and four of Mr Mandela's grandchildren.

     
  30.  
    0808:

    South African President Jacob Zuma has just arrived at the FNB stadium.

     
  31.  
    0808:

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived at the stadium - along with three former British leaders, John Major, Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown.

     
  32.  
    The BBC's Ben James

    tweets: Now SABC showing @KofiAnnan reading words for #Mandela from @TheElders w/ Tutu, Carter, Ahtisaari #MandelaMemorial

    SABC screen grab
     
  33.  
    0811:

    Kofi Annan, former UN secretary general, said: "Whenever we met he called me 'The Boss', with a big smile. But he could also be as firm as anything. At one point he was negotiating a peace agreement in Burundi, and the protagonists were quarrelling and he stood up and stared them down and said: 'The way you guys are behaving makes me ashamed to be an African.' And of course people froze. But he's the sort of person who would do that, challenge them to be better - to rise above the ordinary."

     
  34.  
    Nickay Piper in New York

    tweets: No sleep for me, waiting one more hour to see them clap for #Madiba. Largest gathering of world leaders on African soil in history.

     
  35.  
    The BBC's Nomsa Maseko

    tweets: Sulega Dahir from Somalia - #Mandela is the son of the soil. I'm here to mourn the loss of the father of the world.

    Sulega Dahir from Somalia
     
  36.  
    Lara Barlow in Johannesburg

    emails: How do you pay tribute to a man you have never met, whose presence in the landscape of your life has left such an indelible imprint? The legacy you have left is immeasurable and should serve as a constant reminder that we can all do better and we can all do more.

     
  37.  
    0822:

    Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel has arrived at the stadium. The BBC's Joseph Winter says there were huge cheers as she was shown on the big screens.

    Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel in 1998
     
  38.  
    James Bilsbury in South Africa

    tweets: The FNB stadium isn't even 1/2 full. People have jobs. Should have made today a public holiday so more could attend!! #MandelaMemorial

     
  39.  
    0823:

    Former South African president FW De Klerk has arrived at FNB stadium.

     
  40.  

    Nelson Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on this day, 10 December in 1993. He was a joint recipient with FW De Klerk. Read his acceptance speech here.

     
  41.  
    0825:

    The event is due to start in 40 minutes, and the BBC's Jon Sopel says it still looks like thousands more need to get in - including VIPs.

     
  42.  
    Wandisanga Kayira in Ntcheu, Malawi

    emails: One thing I have learnt from Madiba is forgiveness. If Africa would embrace love and forgiveness there would be no wars on this continent.

     
  43.  
    0829:

    Mandy Wiener, of Eyewitness News in Johannesburg, says she is following up with Metrorail on reports of trains being stuck en route to the FNB stadium.

     
  44.  
    The Daily Nation

    tweets: Obama, Bush arrive for Mandela memorial bit.ly/18QF2eE

    US President Barack Obama and former President George W Bush (R)
     
  45.  
    0835:

    South African actress Charlize Theron and U2 singer and activist Bono - in trademark pink glasses - have arrived for the memorial.

     
  46.  
    0838: Ros Atkins in FNB stadium

    Despite the extraordinary noise coming from the stadium, it remains only half full and I am increasingly sceptical that this event will begin in half an hour."

     
  47.  
    Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

    tweets: "We skipped work to be here... But it is thanks to Mandela that we have good jobs..."

    Spectators at Soweto stadium
     
  48.  
    Ovenseri Abel in Benin City, Nigeria

    emails: Mandela is worth celebrating! His life is proof that whatever we say or do, if it is not for humanity, it's not worth it. But if it is towards human dignity, it is worth giving one's life for. His death has created a vacuum younger generations like mine will strive to fill.

     
  49.  
    0844:

    The Elders arrive at the stadium. They are an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela, and include Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu.

     
  50.  
    0852:

    A large choir is now performing on the largest of the three stages in the stadium.

     
  51.  
    Carien Du Plessis

    of City Press in Johannesburg tweets: Mandela family lining up to take lift, which is slow. They give up, take stairs #MandelaMemorial

    Mandela family arrives at stadium
     
  52.  
    0853:

    Crowds are trying to take cover from the rain as they walk towards the stadium for the ceremony, which is due to begin in less than 10 minutes.

    Members of the public walk towards the Nelson Mandela memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg
     
  53.  
    0855:

    The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrives at about the same time as Ivory Coast President Alassane Outtara

     
  54.  
    0856: The BBC's Will Ross

    South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on the rain: "It's a blessing from the ancestors welcoming a son of the soil."

     
  55.  
    0858:

    Current and former French presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy arrive at the FNB stadium.

     
  56.  
    Jon Gambrell, Associated Press journalist

    tweets: South African military marching band comes out onto pitch at FNB Stadium for #Mandela memorial.

     
  57.  
    0904: Clive Myrie BBC News

    outside the stadium says: "A trickle of people are still arriving on buses, but the stadium is still only half full - it is torrential rain out here and I'm sure that it is affecting the number of people arriving. The "spillover" areas are said to be empty."

     
  58.  
    0907:

    The scene inside the FNB stadium - colourful, vibrant and loud.

    People sing and dance at the First National Bank (FNB) Stadium
     
  59.  
    Luke Farrell from Cape Town

    tweets: Lots of buses still arriving & people starting to stream in. The MC of sorts is Cyril Ramaphosa who co-authored South African constitution

     
  60.  
    0914:

    The BBC's Ros Atkins, co-hosting an extended version of #BBCNewsday, posts this video of the view from where he's sitting in the FNB Stadium.

     
  61.  
    0916:

    Supermodel Naomi Campbell. left, has arrived

    Supermodel Naomi Campbell (left) arrives
     
  62.  
    Macwaia Saloum in Kalamata, Greece

    emails: Great leader, great personality, great soul, great example - that's why I admire you. Rest in peace, Madiba

     
  63.  
    Steve Kretzmann

    of West Cape News tweets: Grand Parade beginning to come alive as Cape Town wakes up. #Mandela

    Grand Parade in Cape Town
     
  64.  
    0921:

    Former South African president Thabo Mbeki receives thunderous applause on arrival.

     
  65.  

    Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier visited the South African embassy in Moscow to sign a book of condolence.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin
     
  66.  
    0925:

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai has arrived.

     
  67.  
    0926: Gabriel Gatehouse BBC News

    A small number of people have gathered to watch the Joburg ceremony on a big screen in Qunu, Mandela's hometown. But the satellite can't find the signal so they're watching a blank screen - at least they can shelter from the fine drizzle.

     
  68.  
    0928:

    Huge cheers erupt as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon waves to the crowd before taking his seat.

     
  69.  
    Jacaranda Newsteam

    tweets: The #Mandela family, already seated. Waiting for #MandelaMemorial to start.

    Mandela family
     
  70.  
    0933:

    Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela Mandela walks in - the crowd cheers loudly and chants Winnie! Winnie! Winnie!

     
  71.  
    0934:

    There are cheers but also audible boos as the vice-president of China, Li Yuanchao, is introduced from the stage.

     
  72.  
    Geoffrey York

    of The Globe and Mail newspaper tweets: smiling man is 87-year-old Andrew Mlangeni, first speaker at memorial; he had cell next to Mandela at Robben

    Andrew Mlangeni
     
  73.  
    0939:

    Before she took her seat, Winnie Mandela hugged and kissed Mr Mandela's widow Graca Machel, in shared public and private grief.

     
  74.  
    0942:

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan and Botswana's Ian Khama are now in the stadium.

     
  75.  

    Here are six things you might not have known about Nelson Mandela - including that his original name was not Nelson.

    Nelson Mandela
     
  76.  
    Nat Khaole in South Africa

    tweets: Rain is cooling down proceedings @ FNB stadium but the start will come at some stage. The mood is befitting the occasion!

     
  77.  
    0953:

    South African President Jacob Zuma is taking his place on the platform, and waves to the crowd.

     
  78.  
    0955: The BBC's Karen Allen

    in Cape Town says crowds are pouring into the area in front of City Hall, where big TV screens have been set up. She says there was an almighty cheer when Mandela's former wife Winnie walked into the stadium - reflecting a feeling that this occasion is also about celebrating the people who were intimately involved with Mandela and his struggle.

     
  79.  
    0956: Nomsa Maseko BBC News, Johannesburg

    says the stadium crowd is singing Siyabonga Nkokheli Tata Madiba - We Thank our Leader.

     
  80.  
    Sian in South Africa

    tweets: Feeling overwhelmed watching the #MandelaMemorial at home, can't imagine what the people at FNB Stadium are feeling

     
  81.  
    0959:

    The stadium crowd, led by the choir, is singing the national anthem

     
  82.  
    Jonah Hull, Al Jazeera English correspondent

    tweets: Next to no one in overflow stadiums as FNB slowly fills up. Most of SA, it appears, will watch the memorial on tele, indoors. #rain #Mandela

     
  83.  
    1002: Breaking News

    The ceremony is finally under way as the dignitaries are welcomed from the stage.

     
  84.  
    1005:

    Deputy president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd and welcomes those in the stadium and those watching around South Africa and around the world.

     
  85.  
    1008:

    Cyril Ramaphosa says: "In our tradition, when it rains when you are buried, your gods are welcoming you to heaven."

     
  86.  
    1009:

    "We are here to tell Madiba that his long walk is over, that he can finally rest and enjoy the view of our beautiful country - but our long walk is only beginning," says Mr Ramaphosa.

     
  87.  
    1010:

    First prayer of the memorial is now taking place.

     
  88.  
    Simon Crane in Johannesburg

    texts: I'm marking Matric English exams for the IEB in Johannesburg today. It's raining hard outside and I can't help but see the metaphor of the tears falling for this great man.

     
  89.  
    Joseph Winter BBC News

    says there were loud cheers for former President Thabo Mbeki and boos for current leader Jacob Zuma who toppled him.

     
  90.  
    1013:

    Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein is leading the interfaith prayers.

     
  91.  
    1015:

    Hindu prayer under way now, the second of the interfaith prayers.

     
  92.  
    1018:

    Islamic prayer being delivered now, third of interfaith prayers.

     
  93.  
    1020:

    The rain continues as the memorial ceremony gets under way.

    People holding umbrellas attend the memorial service for South African former President Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg
     
  94.  
    1025:

    "May Mandela's long walk to freedom be realised and enjoyed... may he rest in peace and rise in glory" - Christian prayer

     
  95.  
    1029:

    The crowd is led in song to Siyabonga Nkokheli Tata Madiba - We thank our Leader.

     
  96.  
    1032:

    Mr Mandela's friend and former fellow Robben Island inmate Andrew Mlangeni takes the podium to pay his tribute.

     
  97.  
    1035:

    "Nelson Mandela epitomised the values of sacrifice, wisdom and patience, and created hope when there was none," says Mr Mlangeni.

     
  98.  
    1039:

    Madiba "believed in sharing insights and listening to and learning from others", Mr Mlangeni says.

     
  99.  
    1040:

    "Madiba's greatness as a leader stems from his humility and his great belief in collective leadership."

     
  100.  
    1041:

    "It should be our collective wisdom, conviction and resolve... to uphold the values of Nelson Mandela. God bless Madiba, God bless his soul and may his soul rest in peace," Mr Mlangeni says as he ends his address.

     
  101.  
    1042:

    Family member General Thanduxolo Mandela is called to the podium to pay tribute on behalf of the Mandela family.

     
  102.  
    Catherine Schulze in Johannesburg

    tweets: Every time screens show Zuma a loud boo echoes around stadium #MandelaMemorial

     
  103.  
    1046:

    "We have always been mindful that we share Madiba with South Africa, Africa and the world. Madiba saw his greatness as a means to make all men and women equal so they could live their lives to their fullest potential" - General Thanduxolo Mandela.

     
  104.  
    Lauren Manuel from Cape Town

    tweets: The cameramen need to STOP focusing in on Zuma... immediate booing ensues. Tsk, the poor people speaking from the podium. #MandelaMemorial

     
  105.  
    1047:

    Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel listens to the tributes.

    Graca Machel
     
  106.  
    1050:

    "As a family we have no option but to be bound by the principles of Nelson Mandela as he would expect no less... We entreat you to uphold his legacy" - General Thanduxolo Mandela.

     
  107.  
    Jen Strydom in Cape Town

    texts: It is so hard to hear Tata Madiba being spoken about in past tense. I have never known a world without his greatness. He will forever be my moral compass.

     
  108.  
    1052:

    Nelson Mandela's grandchildren Mbuso Mandela, Andile Mandela, Zozuko Dlamini, Phumla Mandela take to the stage.

     
  109.  
    1054:

    The BBC's Bola Mosuro is with some of the crowds still making their way towards the FNB stadium. "As soon as they came off the train they started singing," she told BBC World Service. "It was a real swell of emotion."

     
  110.  
    1057:

    Mandela's grandchildren describe him as a great tree that has fallen.

     
  111.  
    1058:

    US President Barack Obama is presented to the crowd to a roar of cheers and applause. Cyril Ramaphosa calls for discipline as boos ring out when President Zuma is shown on the video feed.

     
  112.  
    1059:

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon takes to the podium.

     
  113.  
    Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

    tweets: Loudest cheer of the day so far... For Obama, who waves back.

     
  114.  
    1100:

    Ban Ki-moon describes Mandela as one of the world's greatest leaders who taught by example.

     
  115.  
    Rebecca Kesby, BBC World Service journalist

    tweets: Zuma must be dreading his own speech...after so many boos ....which are growing in volume at the #MandelaMemorial

     
  116.  
    Fergal Keane BBC News

    says the boos for Zuma are interesting and very South African - a politically passionate nation. There is a long history here of memorial services acting as focus for political feeling.

     
  117.  
    1104:

    "Mandela hated hatred. Not the people. He showed wholesome power of forgiveness. A unique gift" - Ban Ki-moon.

     
  118.  
    1107:

    "It is a duty of all of us to keep Mandela's memory alive in our hearts and our lives" - Ban Ki-moon

     
  119.  
    1109:

    In the crowd is the Cuban leader, Raul Castro. Cuba was a staunch critic of apartheid under Mr Castro's brother Fidel.

    Cuba's President Raul Castro arrives for the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg
     
  120.  
    1110:

    VIPs and dignitaries watch from the tribune as rain lashes down during the memorial service.

    VIPs and dignitaries watch from the tribune as rain lashes down during the memorial service
     
  121.  
    1113:

    Former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush take their seats.

     
  122.  
    1113:

    AU Commission chair Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma takes to the podium.

     
  123.  
    1118:

    The master of ceremonies Cyril Ramaphosa has asked a rowdy crowd behind the stage to show respect - in effect, to behave themselves. They have been booing whenever President Jacob Zuma appears.

     
  124.  
    1119:

    His humility, compassion, commitment, courage and openness meant working with Mandela - listening to him, talking to him - was always a lesson. But he could be resolutely firm and stand his ground especially when it came to the defence of the oppressed and poor - Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

     
  125.  
    1122:

    As one of the young militants in 1943 Mandela understood that Africa's struggles were deeply connected - Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

     
  126.  
    1125:

    Groups in the back of the stands are singing and jumping up and down, reports Jacaranda Newsteam.

     
  127.  
    The BBC's Mark Sandell

    tweets: Disrespectful or democracy in action? #Zumaboo being discussed on @bbcworldservice now live from FNB stadium @BBCRosAtkins

     
  128.  
    1129: John Simpson World Affairs Editor, BBC News

    Despite the difficulties - the driving rain and logistical challenges - of organising this event, it must remain a source of immense pride for South Africans that a memorial for one of their own has attracted such an array of world dignitaries.

     
  129.  
    1130: Joseph Winter BBC News

    The appeal for the crowd behind the stage to stop singing appears to have gone unheeded.

     
  130.  
    1130:

    US President Barack Obama makes his way to the podium and prepares to address the memorial service.

     
  131.  
    1130:

    Mr Obama shakes the hand of Cuba's Raul Castro on his way to the podium.

     
  132.  
    1131:

    Mr Obama is introduced - to huge cheers - as a "son of the African soil".

     
  133.  
    1135:

    President Obama describes Mandela as "a giant of history". "His struggle was your struggle, his triumph was your triumph... your freedom and democracy is his legacy."

     
  134.  
    1136:

    President Obama describes Mr Mandela as "the last great liberator of the 20th Century" and a man that led "a life like no other".

     
  135.  
    1139:

    Madiba resisted being an icon, a lifeless portrait - he shared his doubts, fears, and miscalculations. He was a son, husband, father and friend - nothing he achieved was inevitable, he is a man who earned his place in life through struggle and faith - Barack Obama.

     
  136.  
    1141:

    "Mandela learned the language and customs of his oppressors to convey to them that their own freedom would one day depend on his."

    Barack Obama
     
  137.  
    1143:

    Scene in Cape Town as spectators watch the big screen.

    Scene in Cape Town as spectators watch the big screen.
     
  138.  
    1144:

    President Obama cites the South African philosophy of "ubuntu" - the idea that humanity is bound together and expressed by caring for each other - to great cheers from the crowd.

     
  139.  
    Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ghana

    tweets: In South Africa President Obama electrifies the FNB Stadium with his tribute to President Mandela. He always manages to find the right words.

     
  140.  
    1147:

    President Obama said Nelson Mandela had taught the world the power of action and the power of ideas - it took a man like Mr Mandela to free not only the prisoners but also the jailers.

     
  141.  
    Mpho-entle Malapisi in Katlehong, Gauteng

    tweets: Today was supposed to be a holiday shem... everyone deserves the right to experience what people at the FNB stadium are experiencing

     
  142.  
    Zaheera in Johannesburg

    texts: Moving tributes to Mandela which serve as a metaphor for our nation's journey. As a young South African, I feel proud to have lived through a time when peace and freedom overcame oppression.

     
  143.  
    1154:

    We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world - you can make his life's work your own - Barack Obama.

     
  144.  
    1154:

    You can read Barack Obama's full address here.

     
  145.  
    Piers Morgan, CNN host

    tweets: Love the chaos, rain and fervour of the #MandelaMemorial - the joyous South African spirit is his greatest legacy.

     
  146.  
    1158:

    Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff delivers her tribute to Nelson Mandela.

     
  147.  
    1158:

    New York Times Johannesburg bureau chief says she is seeing a fairly large exodus now that Mr Obama has spoken - lots of people are leaving the stadium.

     
  148.  
    1205:

    Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao has now taken to the podium to deliver his tribute to Nelson Mandela

     
  149.  
    Jackie in Hereford, UK

    emails: A stadium of happiness amidst a sad farewell. I hope the future of South Africa is guaranteed due to Mandela's incredible stance on equality and freedom.

     
  150.  
    The BBC's George Alagiah

    tweets At the #Mandela memorial service. Every time President Zuma is shown on the screens there are boos around the stadium.

     
  151.  
    Soweto TV Channel

    tweets: After US president Obama's speech some people heading to the exits #MandelaMemorial #FNBStadium

     
  152.  
    DaCosta Jones in Bridgetown, Barbados

    emails: An icon has gone. An inspiration to us all the world over. RIP.

     
  153.  
    @junaidkadri

    tweets: Barrack Obama made Africa proud.. son of Africa.. I am watching from my office in Tanzania.

     
  154.  
    Aadila Hoosain, South Africa

    emails: Just a comment for George. The stadiums are empty - BUT do not forget that companies have arranged for special rooms with television sets - allowing employees to be part of this event.

     
  155.  
    1217:

    Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao described Mandela as an old friend of China

     
  156.  
    Wea64 in New York

    tweets: I have witnessed countless watershed moments in my life. To be able to say that I lived in the time of #Mandela is one I count with honor

     
  157.  
    1221:

    The BBC's Clive Myrie says people are continuing to file out of the FNB stadium in Johannesburg after President Obama's speech.

     
  158.  
    Jerry Mpotla

    emails: I am sitting in my office sadly and disappointed to hear that some of the South Africans are misbehaving at TATA'S Memorial Service. He is not yet laid to rest but they started failing him.

     
  159.  
    Aissatou-B. G. in Geneva, Switzerland

    texts: Watching the Mandela Memorial live in Geneva. Feeling overwhelmed with peace and love. Grateful to Madiba. May the messages of love and tolerance always prevail.

     
  160.  
    Shimmy, Soweto, South Africa

    emails: From the cradle to the grave, our greatest need is love. Nelson Mandela's memory will forever be etched in our memories.

     
  161.  
    1226:

    Deputy leader of governing ANC Cyril Ramaphosa asks crowd for co-operation and says remaining speakers will give shorter addresses.

     
  162.  
    Sibongile Vuza

    tweets: Looks like the mass only came to #FNBStadium for @BarackObama speech, they are leaving the stadium now. #MadelaMemorial

     
  163.  
    1231:

    Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown tells the BBC that Mandela was one of the most courageous people you could ever meet.

     
  164.  
    Joseph Winter BBC News

    tweets Cyril Ramaphosa wags his finger at the crowd who have been singing during speeches and tells them in Zulu: Don't misbehave

     
  165.  
    Sumi, Zimbabwe

    emails: Moving tributes to the Father of the Nation Nelson Mandela. May his soul rest in peace. A great leader, a good humble man that brought many amazing things to the South African Nation and the world. Heartfelt condolences to the Madiba Family.

     
  166.  
    Soweto TV Channel

    tweets: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on the stage now paying his tributes #MandelaMemorial #FNBStadium

     
  167.  
    1237:

    Cuban President Raul Castro is now delivering his tribute to Nelson Mandela.

     
  168.  
    Lindiwe Mlandu

    tweets: Cyril Ramaphosa pleading with the crowd not to embarrass SA in front on international visitors. #FNBStadium

     
  169.  
    Ben Ng'uni

    texts: Watching the Mandela memorial live from Lusaka, I feel so proud to have lived to see a great son of Africa during his fight for freedom. You will forever inspire me!

     
  170.  
    Nokza

    tweets: Ramaphosa trying very hard to control the crowd..#FNBStadium such an embarrassment!!

     
  171.  
    Basetsana Makena

    tweets: #FNBStadium People are booing Jacob Zuma yet come elections next year,they will be first in line to vote for him!!! #MadibaMemorial

     
  172.  
    1244:

    Cuban President Raul Castro tells the crowd that Cuba has had the privilege of fighting alongside African nations.

     
  173.  
    Paul, Limpopo, South Africa

    texts: Feeling angry with the hypocrisy of the Chinese Vice-President, condemning apartheid while they continue to oppress the Tibetans. The absence of the Dalai Lama today says a lot.

     
  174.  
    1250:

    This family is staying dry - watching the ceremony from their home in Johannesburg

    Watching ceremony from their home in Johannesburg
     
  175.  
    #TwentyNineDecember

    tweets: Polokwane city had more people in the stadium during their match than there is now at the #FNBStadium before Zuma's speech

     
  176.  
    Margaret Abazie-Humphrey

    texts: Watching from my office in Abuja, Nigeria. From these epitomise speeches, the South Africans will remember the apartheid period, will appreciate that the world loves them by honouring this day from far, & be grateful with the legacy that Madiba left for them.

     
  177.  
    1253:

    South African President Jacob Zuma now delivering his tribute.

     
  178.  
    N. Osouna, Trinidad & Tobago

    emails: It saddens me to see and hear the crowd boo President Zuma. Today is not about him and for a few hours the people should just rejoice in the great Nelson Mandela legacy he left behind.

     
  179.  
    Mashikwane Makgopela, New York

    emails: Please do not be too hard on the crowds singing behind the podium. In South Africa we use song to express all types of emotion - sometimes even story telling can be assume the form of song. We sing when we are sad. We sing when we are happy. We even sing when we are somewhat confused and can find no specific reason for the song. Singing is part and parcel of our being.

     
  180.  
    1256:

    Zuma: Nelson Mandela's passing has marked an unprecedented outpouring of grief across the world

     
  181.  
    Joseph Winter BBC News

    tweets Mixed reaction when Zuma started speaking despite best efforts of praise singer. Many making substitute signal with their hands

     
  182.  
    1302:

    A boy listens to the speeches at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg

    Boy at FNB stadium
     
  183.  
    Nick Hamman from Cape Town

    tweets: Now, more than ever, we need Zuma not to just read off a page, but to speak to and engage us as a nation!

     
  184.  
    1305:

    Zuma: Nelson Mandela a "fearless freedom fighter".

     
  185.  
    Ben James, BBC journalist
    Ben James in Soweto

    tweets: Watching #Zuma in Soweto #MandelaMemorial

     
  186.  
    1311:

    Here's former US President George W Bush embracing Irish rock star Bono during the memorial service.

    George W Bush embracing Irish rock star Bono
     
  187.  
    1313:

    Whistling and singing still going on as President Zuma addresses the crowd.

     
  188.  
    Ros Atkins in FNB stadium

    tweets Issues around the booing of President Zuma will be discussed on @BBC_WHYS live from Soweto at 18G @bbcworldservice #MandelaMemorial

     
  189.  
    Papa Neo from Mossel Bay, South Africa

    tweets: Really embarrassing scenes at the FNB stadium! Regardless of how we feel about Pres Zuma this is no way to treat him in front of visitors.

     
  190.  
    1325:

    President Zuma: Nelson Mandela was "one of a kind".

    Jacob Zuma
     
  191.  
    L. from the UK

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Did Zuma not know that he was going to give a speech today!? Reading off masses of paper with such poor delivery

     
  192.  
    1329:

    Rain still pouring down at the FNB Stadium. President Zuma has finished speaking and a sermon is being delivered.

    Rain at the FNB Stadium.
     
  193.  
    Maxine

    emails: I am watching the memorial service live at my work, it is very moving to see so many show their great love and respect for this very amazing and inspirational man who showed such humility and forgiveness. I am moved and thankful as one of my best friends is a white South African and in past times that would never of been possible.

     
  194.  
    1336:

    Mr Mandela was "very human and great fun," former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair tells the BBC - remembering Mr Mandela dandling Mr Blair's son, Leo, on his knee in 2002.

     
  195.  
    1338:

    Ceremony in its closing stages now. Bishop Ivan Abrahams giving a sermon.

     
  196.  
    Alistair in South Africa

    tweets: I wish #Zuma delivered some personal stories with Madiba, such a robotic speech, the man on the street shows more emotion #MandelaMemorial

     
  197.  
    LeHa Trang in Johannesburg

    tweets: I bet if #Zuma says something personal, people will say he's trying to associate himself with Madiba to win favours...haters gonna hate!

     
  198.  
    1343:

    A woman who was in the FNB stadium for an event marking the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 talks to the BBC.

     
  199.  
    Helene Daouphars, BBC journalist

    tweets: The stadium is getting quite empty

    FNB stadium
     
  200.  
    1359:

    Here's a short video clip showing how a section of the crowd reacted to President Jacob Zuma.

     
  201.  
    1402:

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu now addressing the stadium, asking the crowd to be quiet - he "wants to hear a pin drop".

     
  202.  
    1408:

    ANC Vice-President Cyril Ramaphosa officially closes the ceremony, chanting "long live Nelson Mandela".

     
  203.  
    Pierre Ackermann from South Africa

    tweets: And there Desmond Tutu scolds the crowds for misbehaving at FNB stadium! Well done! Well done for praying in Afrikaans Tutu! #tutu #Madiba

     
  204.  
    Adam Msuya in Tanzania

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay i have been watching #MandelaMemorial live from Tanzania for 4hrs now. I truly feel I am among the crowd in the stadium

     
  205.  
    Chaba A in Manchester, UK

    texts: I'm watching Madiba memorial live from Manchester UK. I'm overwhelmed by the number of people and dignitaries who are present to pay their respect to an icon I hope our leaders will follow his ideology of peace and forgiveness. May his loving soul rest in perfect peace.

     
  206.  
    Sarah in Fayetteville, NC, USA

    texts: As a white South African who started school in 1995, I was overcome with emotion at hearing of Madiba's passing. As usual today's events have become a circus, the crowds embarrassing the country in front of the entire world. And that is why I will probably never return to my country; my last hope died with him.

     
  207.  
    1419:

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in characteristic style, urging the crowd to behave.

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu
     
  208.  
    Fergal Keane BBC News

    tweets ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu clearly livid with booing. Talking on SABC FM1 suggesting it was pre-planned.

     
  209.  
    Sindi Ngubane, Johannesburg, South Africa

    emails: I am at work struggling just to go about with my day-to-day activities. The loud cheer from outside my building makes me shiver. May God bless Africa and the world!

     
  210.  
    Habib from Beirut, Lebanon

    emails: A rare good man and a true man of peace departed. An inspiration for all humankind.

     
  211.  
    J Amruta Kumar Rajahmundry in India

    texts: Nelson Mandela is Mahatma of South Africa and all peace loving countries and others as well. We Indians love Madiba no less than Mahatma Gandhi, father of our nation.

     
  212.  
    1429:

    In case you missed it, here's a shot of that handshake that surprised commentators between President Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro.

    US President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro (C) in this image taken from video courtesy of the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg
     
  213.  
    Lydia Polgreen, New York Times Johannesburg bureau chief

    tweets: Now on a jam packed commuter train from Soweto to Pretoria, where I will be tonight to prepare for the lying in state of Nelson Mandela.

     
  214.  
    1450:

    On the Obama-Castro handshake, Cuba's government website Cubadebate.cu said "may this image be the beginning of the end of the US aggression against Cuba". It is believed to be only the second time in the past 60 years the leaders of Cuba and the US have shaken hands.

     
  215.  
    OC in California, USA

    tweets: So the Obama- Castro handshake just a handshake for media? or could we move forward from here? #Mandela #MandelaMemorial #Cuba

     
  216.  
    1500:

    This brings to an end our live coverage of the memorial service in honour of Nelson Mandela. On Wednesday, his body will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. This will be followed by a state funeral on Sunday. For all the latest updates please visit the BBC News website.

    A man waves a South African flag in front of Nelson Mandela's portrait
     

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