Nelson Mandela Memorial - As it happened

2013-12-10 10:35

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The memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela is under way at the FNB Stadium in Soweto.

Nearly 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of people have packed into the stadium for the four-hour service to pay tribute to the late statesman.

For updates on the build-up to the event, click here.

16:25 - OK, that's us done for the day with the updates. We'll be back on Wednesday (or tomorrow) for further coverage. 

16:19 - 

16:15 - You can find some photos of foreign dignitaries arriving at the event here,pictures of crowds arriving here, and a link to Obama's full speech here. You can also read the full text of Zuma's speech here.

16:08 - PJ Powers sings with the choir in closing.

16:04 - Oh and we're done. Ramaphosa says that's that. 

16:03 - It appears that the crowd is heeding Tutu's call for quiet. The crowd that's left anyway.

16:02 - Tutu: We thank you God and we promise God that we are going to follow the example of Nelson Mandela. [crowd cheers]

16:02 - Winnie smiles as Tutu speaks. 

16:01 - Tutu: I want to hear a pin drop. I want to show the world we can come out here to celebrate the life of an extraordinary icon. We want to say thank you to that world but you must show that world that we are disciplined. I want to hear a pin drop. 

16:00 - Tutu tells the crowd: I'm not giving you a blessing until all of you stand. 

15:59 - Tutu speaking now.

15:58 - If you didn't hear it, read Zuma's full speech here.

15:56 - Ramaphosa is now thanking Madiba's security team, staff, medical team and family that looked after the former president as he moved around the world.

15:50 - Nelson Mandela's memorial service has wrought an unusual truce across the faultlines of US presidential politics.

15:42 - 

15:37 - Bishop Ivan Abrahams says God had given us a prophet ... father of the nation and colossus among leaders 

15:36 - Desmond Tutu has been moved onto the stage. 

15:33 - Vote of thanks under way.

15:32 - 

15:27 - Isn't this just the cutest thing? 

15:27 - Bishop Ivan Abrahams delivering the sermon.

15:24 - Zuma done speaking.

15:23 - 

15:22 - Zuma extends condolences to Mandela family.

15:22 - Zuma announces the amphitheater at the Union Buildings will be called the Nelson Mandela amphitheater.

15:21 - Zuma says they will continue working for a nation free from hunger and poverty 

15:20 - Zuma: Today Madiba is no more. He leaves behind a nation who loves him dearly and a continent truly proud to call him an African.

15:19 - Zuma: He believed in collective leadership. He never wanted to be viewed as a saint.

15:18 - Zuma: He made sure that everyone had a better life. We remember a man above all men who died for us.

15:17 - Zuma: People of South Africa we have lost a great man and I know that everyone loved him and still does love him.

15:16 - Zuma switches to Zulu.

15:14 - It's not as easy to stay focused during Zuma's speech as it was during Obama's...

15:14 - Zuma: Our sports teams yearned for the Madiba magic he brought whenever they faced opponents.

15:11 - Zuma: Mandela managed the anger and frustrations of both the oppressors and the oppressed.

15:08 - Zuma: Today the whole world is standing still again to pay tribute to this greatest son of South Africa and Africa.

15:07 - Zuma: Armed struggle was a means to an end, it was not an end in itself.

15:06 -  Zuma: Today is the anniversary of the day Madiba was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

15:06 - Zuma: There is no one like Madiba. He was one of a kind.

15:05 - Zuma: South Africa needed a leader like Madiba to help us through a difficult transition from to a free, democratic society.

15:03 - 

15:03 - Zuma: The world came to a standstill watching this tall, imposing figure walking out into a world he had left behind.

15:01 - Zuma: The powerful name of Nelson Mandela lived on. He continued to inspire our people from inside prison walls.

15:01 - Zuma: He paid dearly for his beliefs and actions through imprisonment.

15:00 - Zuma: The struggle became Madiba's life. He was at the forefront of the radical change in the ANC in the 1940s.

14:59 - Zuma: He was a fearless freedom fighter who refused to allow the brutality of the apartheid state to stand in way of the struggle.

14:59 - Zuma: That we are Madiba's compatriots and have lived during his time is a cause for great celebration

14:58 - Zuma: Never before has our country celebrated a life as we do with our Madiba today.

14:58 - Zuma: The Mandela family, the South African people, the continent, feel stronger today because we are being comforted by millions.

14:57 - Zuma: Mandela's passing has marked unprecedented outpouring from the world, yet tinged with celebration.

14:56 - Zuma: Everyone has had a Mandela moment, he has touched many lives. Deep gratitude for messages of condolences.

14:56 - Still hearing some singing as Zuma speaks.

14:55 - Zuma: His passing has marked an unprecedented outpouring of grief across the world. Grief tinged with admiration and celebration.

14:55 - Zuma: The song is one of the most accurate descriptions of this global icon who is the founding President of free, democratic SA.

14:54 - Zuma: South Africans sing a popular song about Madiba, that he is one of a kind, there is no one quite like him.

14:54 - Crowd cheers as Zuma greets them.

14:53 - Zuma greets everyone. Presidents, kings, queens, political leaders. Everyone.

14:52 - Zuma starts speaking. 

14:51 - PJ Powers is there too.

14:50 - No, no. That's quite a booing there for Zuma. Oh dear. Singers are doing their best to drown the jeers out.

14:50 - Praise singer: Take your place as the president and show us the way.

14:49 - Zuma gets quite the welcome from a praise-singer. 

14:48 - Oh. Apparently that's cheers and boos according to reporters at the stadium. 

14:47 - Is that... cheering after Zuma's name was mentioned? Yes, it appears so.

14:47 - Zuma's set to speak next. Let's see how this goes down...

14:45 - Castro concludes speech. Cyril Ramaphosa thanks Castro and Cuba for contributions to SA.

14:45 - Castro: Fidel has said 'Nelson Mandela will go down in history because he was capable of cleaning his soul of poison'.

14:42 - Castro: As Mandela's life teaches us, only the concerted efforts of all nations will empower humanity to respond to challenges.

14:41 - Castro: Mandela has set an insurmountable example to Latin America and the Caribbean which is moving towards unity.

14:40 - As Castro speaks, the camera pans over to the Mandela who look a bit chilly. 

14:37 - Castro: he had a dedication to the revolutionary struggle for justice, peace and reconciliation.

14:35 - And with Raul Castro about to speak here's a lovely picture of him and Obama shaking hands.

14:35 - Crowd cheers as Indian president concludes his speech.

14:32 - Mukherjee says the world is richer for Mandela's legacy. He was a visionary.

14:31 - Mukherjee says India joins SA in paying homage to Madiba.

14:30 - Cyril had apparently asked the crowd earlier in Zulu "not to embarrass us".

14:29 - Indian President Pranab Mukherjee starts speaking again. The crowd appears to have heeded Cyril's call.

14:27 - Cyril stops Indian president and urges band to "put your instruments down".

14:25 - Cyril points out that Mandela was a "disciplined cadre". In other words, follow his example.  

14:23 - Ramaphosa again urges calm and quiet.

14:20 - Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohambanow just spoke. Though he could barely be heard above crowd.

14:12 - News24 user Paul Birkettpaul sent us this photo from inside the stadium:

14:11 - Baleka is singing again. 

14:10 - Yuanchao now switches to English. Says Mandela's spirit will live for always.

14:10 - Yuanchao: The Chinese people will always cherish the memory of his contribution to our relations. He was a household name.

14:09 - See the latest pictures from the memorial here.

14:08 - Reporters saying hundreds of people are now leaving the stadium since Obama finished speaking.

14:03 - Vice President of China Li Yuanchao now takes to the podium. Speaking through a translator.

14:03 - Rousseff: We proudly carry African blood in our veins and celebrate this great leader who belongs to pantheon of mankind.

14:02 - Obama has shaken hands with Cuban President Raul Castro.

13:59 - Seeing a fairly large exodus now that Obama has spoken. Lots of people leaving the stadium, tweets the New York Times's Lydia Polgreen.

13:57 - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff now speaking in Portuguese. 

13:57 - 

13:53 - Obama now speaking a few words into Graca Machel's ear.

13:52 - For Obama's full speech, click here.

13:51 - Feel a bit sorry for everyone up after Obama...

13:49 - Obama: May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela. May God bless South Africa.

13:49 - Obama: He makes me want to be a better man.

13:48 - Obama: Over 30 years ago while still a student I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles of his land... 

13:47 - Obama uses famous Mandela quote, "it is always impossible until it is done".

13:46 - Obama: In our world today we still see children suffering with hunger and disease. Still political prisoners, prosecutions.

13:45 - Obama: We cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done.

13:45 - Obama: How well have we applied his lessons in my own life? It is a question I ask myself as a man and as a president.

13:44 - Obama: He changed laws, but he also changed hearts

13:42 - Obama: We remember the gestures large and small, introducing his jailers as honoured guests at his inauguration.

13:41 - Obama: There's a word in South Africa - ubuntu. (Again, crowd cheers)

13:40 - Obama: Ideals are not enough. They must be chiseled into the law and the institutions.

13:38 - Obama now quoting from Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

13:38 - Obama: Mandela showed us the power of action.

13:37 - Obama: He was a man of flesh and blood. A son, a husband, a father, a friend.

13:36 - Obama: Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears...he could admit to imperfection

13:35 - Obama:  It is tempting to remember Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene. But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a portrait.

13:34 - Obama compares Madiba to Ghandi and Martin Luther King.

13:34 - Obama: Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the twentieth century.

13:33 - Obama: he was a giant of history, who moved a nation to justice, and in the process moved millions around world.

13:33 - Obama: It is hard to eulogise any man. 

13:31 - Obama: It is a singular honour to be with you today. To the people of South Africa (pause for HUGE applause), people of every race and walk of life, the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. 

13:31 - Obama welcomed to the stage. Everyone. Goes. Nuts.

13:30 - The giant screen at Mandela memorial has been switched off -- apparently to reduce the unruly crowd noises, including the booing of Zuma.

13:29 - The singer appears to be a man in a white jacket. He's quite... enthusiastic. He's "looking for a witness".

13:27 - Obama greeting all the leaders. One can hear the crowd cheering in the background.

13:26 - OK. It's time for Obama.

13:25 - D-Z done speaking. Now singing by... someone. The TV screen isn't showing us. 

13:23 - The crowd might also be cheering for Obama. He's set to speak of Dlamini-Zuma.

13:23 - D-Z: The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

13:22 - Dlamini-Zuma: During his presidency, Tata Mandela championed peace and security on the continent.

13:21 - Do I see amabareta deployed to stop our people booing? #Madiba say it ain't so, tweets journalist Greg Marinovich.

13:19 - Reporters in the stadium say it's almost impossible to hear Dlamini-Zuma over the crowds. 

13:19 - D-Z is now reading some history, talks about Mandela's military training and freedom fighters.

13:17 - Doesn't seem as if Cyril's call for the crowd to quieten down has made much of a difference. And there goes a vuvuzela. No, not many people are listening to Dlamini-Zuma.

13:16 - D-Z: His humility, compassion, courage and openness stood as an example. Talking to him was always a lesson.

13:15 - Dlamini-Zuma: We stand proud of Madiba. Throughout his life he lived values in struggle, always willing to serve.

13:14 - Dlamini-Zuma: Africa is in mourning for the loss of its greatest [son].

13:12 - AU head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had some trouble being heard over singing crowd so Cyril tries to calm them down. It seems to have worked. A bit.

13:12 - Khumalo gets massive applause. 

13:10 - Sibongile Khumalo and choir singing. Beautifully. 

13:09 - 

13:07 - Baleka Mbete seemingly going through every single head of state present.

13:06 - Camera cuts to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the crowd erupts.

13:05 - As the camera pans quickly to George W Bush, the crowd boos briefly, tweets Carien du Plessis.

13:04 - Moon: This boxer fought throughout his life for each of us. It is the duty of all of us who loved him to keep his memory alive.

13:04 - Moon: Mandela showed us the way with a heart larger than this stadium and an infectious smile that could easily light it up.

13:03 - Moon: Our struggle still continues against inequality. For prosperity and peace.

13:03 - Moon: We used every tool we had. Sanctions, arms embargo, sports boycott, diplomatic isolation, against Apartheid.

13:02 - Moon: This boabab tree has left deep roots that reach across the planet.

13:02 - Moon: He has not gone yet. Look around this stadium. All are here. All are united today.

12:59 - Moon: The world has lost a beloved mentor... He taught by example... He was willing to give up everything he had for freedom and democracy. 

12:58 - Moon: I hope we will be able to see the rainbow soon through the rain of sadness. A rainbow cleans our hearts.

12:58 - 

12:57 - UN secretary general Ban ki-moon takes to the podium.

12:55 - Ramaphosa now asking for discipline. Then the big screen shows US President Barack Obama. Everyone goes crazy happy. Then the screen shows Zuma. Everyone boos. Yes, well. 

12:55 - Grandchildren: A giant tree has fallen, scattering a thousand brilliant leaves. Shall we walk in his footsteps?

12:52 - Grandchildren speaking now.

12:52 - Mandela grandchildren being called to the stage. 

12:49 - Meanwhile, crowds are swelling at the Grand Parade in Cape Town where people are watching the FNB Stadium memorial on big screens.

12:47 - For those wondering: The most popular food items today include boerewors rolls, chip&dip and coffee. - News24's Nielen de Klerk.

12:46 - 

12:45 -  Thanduxolo Mandela: Indeed, Madiba was a great man but was humble. He saw it as a means to make all men and women equal.

12:44 - Thanduxolo Mandela: We have always been mindful that we share Madiba with the rest of South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.

12:43 - Meanwhile, the crowd is apparently booing each time Zuma's face appears on the big screen.

12:41 - Thanduxolo Mandela speaking now.

12:41 - Mlangeni: God bless, Madiba.... May his soul rest in peace.

12:39 - Mlangeni: He forced optimism & confidence out of stress and sorrow.

12:36 - Mlangeni: He created hope where there was none.

12:34 - Mlangeni: He was an incomparable force of leadership. He defeated oppression, not by force but by understanding and love.

12:33 - Mlangeni: I am overjoyed at the outpouring of love. Madiba is looking down on us now.

12:30 - Andrew Mlangeni delivers a tribute as a 'family friend'. He spent many years on Robben Island with Madiba.

12:25 - Baleka Mbete now leading singing. 

12:24 - Go home Madiba who has selflessly done what is honourable and good for the Lord's people - Bishop

12:21 - 

12:20 - Anglican archbishop now leading prayers.

12:19 - Imam: We beseech you that future leaders will stand up for the ideals and vision our Madiba stood for.

12:17 - If you missed this earlier...

12:16 - Muslim imam now leading prayers.

12:15 - 

12:14 - Hindu religious leader now praying.

12:11 - Goldtsein: Madiba brought to life the ancient words of Joseph...

12:10 - Desmond Tutu keeps his eyes shut tight as Goldstein prays.

12:09 - Jewish Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein now praying.

12:08 - Ramaphosa now calls religious leaders to the stage to give opening prayers.

12:08 - Ramaphosa: His long walk is over but ours is just beginning.

12:06 - Ramaphosa: In many ways we are here today to tell Madiba that his long walk is over. That he can rest. 

12:04 - Ramaphosa: In our tradition, when it rains when you are buried, your Gods are welcoming you to heaven.

12:04 - Cyril apologises for the rain.

12:03 - 

12:01 - To clarify, when Zuma's name was called by Ramaphosa the crowd didn't respond favourably. When previous presidents names called, loud cheers.

12:00 - Zuma does not look... happy.

11:59 - Cyril Ramaphosa now leading the crowd in "long live the spirit of Nelson Mandela long live!"

11:59 - Graca Machel looks really, well, graceful. 

11:58 - The SANDF band plays while a choir sing the national anthem.

11:57 - DRC President Joseph Kabila has arrived.

11:56 - Mbeki and De Klerk were greeted with cheers, Zuma with booing. So there you go.

11:55 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has just arrived.

11:54 - 

11:51 - President Zuma arrives in the stadium to the sound of booing. The people are not happy.

11:50 - 

11:47 - Former UK Prime Minister GordonBrown is there too. Basically everyone who's anyone is there.

11:45 - CBS'sSarah Carter says: "Obama has not left Sandton Radisson (hotel), still holding in cars out least a 30 min trip away from stadium."

11:44 - Winnie Mandela is there. She looks sombre.

11:41 - 

11:24 - GUYS! Princess Victoria of Sweden is behind me; looking lovely in a black hat. Clever, considering it's pouring. - Jerusha Sukhdeo.

11:21 - Crowd goes utterly wild as Thabo Mbeki takes his seat, News24's Jerusha Sukhdeo tweets.

11:15 - A tearful George Bizos told David Smith: "We are saddened by his passing but we have to be stoical about it. None of us immortal. He had a good innings."

11:12 - 

11:11 - 

11:10 - 

11:09 - Looks like people are getting drenched in Soweto. It really is coming down.

11:06 - Get more details on the train delay.

11:02 - 

11:01 - French President Francois Hollande and former president Nicolas Sarkozy we also seen walking into the stadium.

11:00 - The Guardian's David Smith tweets: Spoke to Charlize Theron who said: "My thoughts are with the family. I have incredible light and heaviness in my heart right now."

10:59 - Hearing beautiful sounds of song inside the stadium.

10:59 - 

10:58 - 

10:56 - The SANDF band makes its way to the stage.

10:56 - It looks as if things are about to get started...

10:54 - Mandela family making its way onto the stage.

10:52 - It's pouring rain and, according to AP journalist Jon Gambrell, only about 20 000 people are in the stadium.

10:49 - Malawian President Joyce Banda has arrived.

10:46 - Media just been banned from dignities arrival - SABC area only now, tweets News24's Dan Calderwood.

10:34 - 

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