Mandela memorial: 'Blessing' of rain affects turn-out
10 December 2013 Last updated at 10:53 GMT
While tens of thousands of people have turned up to the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, there are signs that the heavy rain may have affected turn-out.
The service at the 95,000-capacity venue was scheduled to start at 09:00 GMT but was delayed as people continued to arrive.
Rather than seeing the rain as a dampener, many in South Africa have welcomed it, with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula having described it as "a blessing from the ancestors welcoming a son of the soil."
Clive Myrie, based outside the stadium, said from his vantage point he could see barely a trickle of arrivals.