Spirits not dampened at Mandela memorial

2013-12-10 09:49
People take their seats for the memorial service for Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto. (Peter Dejong, AP)

People take their seats for the memorial service for Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto. (Peter Dejong, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


LIVE: Nelson Mandela memorial service

2013-12-10 09:02

Watch footage of the from the SABC of Nelson Mandela's remains travelling to to the Eastern Cape ahead of Sunday's funeral in Qunu.WATCH

Johannesburg - Drizzle and the threat of more rain did little to dampen the spirits of several thousand people who gathered at FNB stadium on Tuesday morning for the memorial service of former president Nelson Mandela.

Stages have been erected on the side of the pitch. On one, musicians were tuning their instruments and playing some free-style jazz.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa was spotted in the stadium's media box, talking on his cellphone while a group of journalists tried to speak to him.

Many in the crowd took refuge from the rain in the covered seating on the top tier, and were singing songs in tribute to the former president.


"UMandela lo, abamaziyo, abakaze bambone (This is Mandela, the one who is known, they've never seen anyone like him)," the several thousand strong section chanted.

"Shosholoza" followed, as the crowd clapped and danced in unison.

Groups of soldiers and security officials in reflector vests continued to line the aisles of the vast arena.

Military helicopters flying overhead were greeted by a roar from the crowd.

Earlier a group marched in between the seats of the stadium, singing struggle songs.

Some were dressed in ANC T-shirts, while others draped themselves with ANC flags and blankets.

Others wore wigs in the colours of the South African flag. One group carried a poster with Mandela's face on it and the words "No easy walk to freedom".

The crowd danced in unison on the stands, screaming, clapping, whistling, and ululating.

The Atlantis swim team also carried a large banner which read: "We will always love you Tata Madiba".

A sea of umbrellas was already forming across the stadium as the sporadic drizzle continued.

'Celebration of a life well lived'

Speaking on the sidelines at the event, the African National Congress said Tuesday was an important day for South Africa, Africa and the world.

"Scores of people have braved the rain to bid a final farewell to our beloved statesman and global icon Tata Madiba," ANC spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said.

"Today [Tuesday] will be a day of celebration of a life well lived, and a reflection on the opportunities presented to collectively live up to the values Madiba espoused."

A large contingent of heads of state, dignitaries, and celebrities are expected to attend Tuesday's proceedings, scheduled to get under way at 11:00.

Mandela died surrounded by family at his Houghton home, in Johannesburg, on Thursday night, aged 95.

Share your thoughts and photos of the Mandela memorial service

- Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at Remembered.co.za.


Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  soweto

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3525.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.