Mandela memorial: Quotes, pictures and moments of the day

Nelson Mandela's image projected on a big screen in the FNB stadium in Soweto

Tens of thousands of South Africans and scores of world leaders and dignitaries have attended the state memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

They gathered in a Soweto football stadium, braving the driving rain, to honour the man who helped to change their lives in his long fight against apartheid.

Here are some of the key moments of the ceremony.

Quotes of the day

US President Barack Obama:It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.

US President Barack Obama: "Madiba freed the prisoner and the jailer"

South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu:Was he a saint? Not if a saint is entirely flawless. I believe he was saintly because he inspired others powerfully and revealed in his character, transparently, many of God's attributes of goodness: compassion, concern for others, and a desire for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Desmond Tutu: "I want to hear a pin drop"

Read Archbishop Tutu's speech in full

South African President Jacob Zuma:[Mandela] was a fearless freedom fighter who refused to allow the brutality of the apartheid state to stand in the way of the struggle for the liberation of his people. Being a lawyer, he understood the possible consequences of his actions but he also knew that no unjust system could last forever.

Read President Zuma's speech in full

Video of the day

Montage of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela's great granddaughter Phumla Mandela: "You tower over the world like a comet"

Watch excerpts from some of the key speeches

Tweets of the day

@GeoffreyYork: the energy of this massive crowd is incredible; songs and dancing and cheering continue, despite rain at #MandelaMemorial

@Nomsa_Maseko: I'm here to mourn #Mandela's passing and to celebrate and honour his legacy - Nthabiseng Seleoane

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

@FergalKeane47: ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu clearly livid with booing. Talking on SABC FM1 suggesting it was pre-planned. And criticizes state security agencies for not "picking it up" in advance

In pictures: Moments of the day
Crowds of people sing and dance Despite the teeming rain, the crowds remained in high spirits - singing, dancing and stomping their feet.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (L) and Graca Machel embrace Winnie Madikizela-Mandela embraced Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Michel - the two women united in personal and public grief.
US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro On his way to address the service, US President Barack Obama stopped to shake the hand of Cuban leader Raul Castro - epitomising the spirit of reconciliation Mandela represented.
US President Barack Obama address the memorial service President Obama was welcomed by a huge cheer from the crowd as he begins his speech, in which he described Mr Mandela as a "giant of history".
South Africa's archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu gestures while delivering a speech during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu silenced the crowd saying he wanted to "hear a pin drop". He later asked everyone to rise to their feet for a final tribute.

For more, see Nelson Mandela memorial service: In pictures

Correspondent colour and analysis

The BBC's Mike Wooldridge: Politics may be - in effect - suspended during this period of mourning but elections are just months away, with the record of President Zuma and his government in the spotlight. There is, we have been reminded today, a Mandela legacy for the whole world. But most importantly perhaps, his legacy challenges his successors here in his own country.

The BBC's James Robbins: The scale of this extraordinary event reflects both a global sense of loss and a distinctly South African way of combining sadness with celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani: Struggle songs were a big part of South Africa's apartheid history. Activists sang about the men who were languishing on Robben Island and those who were in exile, far from their loved ones. Sometimes the songs were mournful; at other times they were a war cry. But on this day, the same songs were sung to comfort the Mandela family - to show them that South Africans have not forgotten Nelson Mandela's role. Read more here

More on This Story

Mandela's death

More Africa stories



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.