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Nelson Mandela memorial service: In pictures


Tens of thousands of people joined world leaders at a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg. The service was held at the FNB stadium, where Mr Mandela made his last public appearance. It was also shown on big screens at three "overflow" stadiums.

image captionThere had been fears people would be turned away, but the heavy rain left areas of the 95,000 capacity stadium empty.
image captionThe service is held in front of a vociferous crowd in the FNB stadium.
image captionArchbishop Desmond Tutu addresses the stadium, asking the crowd to be quiet - he "wants to hear a pin drop".

US President Barack Obama was welcomed by a huge cheer from the crowd as he began his speech, in which he describes Mr Mandela as a "giant of history", adding: "The world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us."

image captionOn his way to the podium, President Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, an unprecedented gesture between the leaders of two nations that have been at loggerheads for more than half a century.
image captionThere were some boos for current South African President Jacob Zuma, but his keynote address was respectfully heard. He said Mr Mandela had been "one of a kind... a fearless freedom fighter who refused to allow the brutality of the apartheid state to stand in way of the struggle for the liberation of his people".
image captionJohn Simpson, the BBC's World Affairs Editor said: "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."
image captionThose attending the service included US President Barack Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Cuban President Raul Castro, French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
image captionNelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel listens to the tributes including that by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who said: "Mandela hated hatred. Not the people. He showed wholesome power of forgiveness. A unique gift."
image captionFormer British Prime Minister John Major (centre) greets former US Presidents George W Bush (right) and Bill Clinton (left).
image captionOutside the stadium a man prepares to sell portraits of Mr Mandela.
image captionThe heavy rain continued as deputy president of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the crowd and welcomed those in the stadium and those watching around South Africa and around the world. He said: "In our tradition, when it rains when you are buried, your gods are welcoming you to heaven."
image captionFlags and banners are waved as the memorial gets under way just over an hour late.
image captionThere were cheers of "Winnie! Winnie!" for ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as she made her way to her seat inside the stadium.
image captionSouth Africa's Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a leading figure in the struggle against apartheid earlier said of Mandela: "He was a unifier from the moment he walked out of prison. We are relieved that his suffering is over, but our relief is drowned by our grief."
image captionSince Mandela's death, Johannesburg has been blanketed in unseasonal cloud and rain but despite this the atmosphere inside the stadium was one of joy and celebration.
image captionAs the time for the ceremony to start draws near some of the dignitaries arrive, including South Africa's last white president FW De Klerk with his wife Elita.
image captionMr Mandela's successor as president, Thabo Mbeki arrives with his wife Zanele.
image captionAlongside the politicians a number of figures from the world of entertainment attended the ceremony, including U2's lead singer Bono and South African actress Charlize Theron.
image captionThe former South African president died aged 95 last Thursday and the country is observing a series of commemorations leading up to the funeral on Sunday.
image captionThe BBC's Clive Myrie was outside the stadium and said: "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."
image captionThe ceremony was broadcast across the world, with many in South Africa tuning in.
image captionThe memorial service lasted four hours.
image captionThe service is being seen as a celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela with the crowd singing and chanting as they arrived inside the stadium.
image captionA mourner poses with his home-made hat as he arrives at the stadium.
image captionPlastic sheeting is removed from chairs on the main stage. More than 90 current heads of state or government attended.
image captionThe crowds were in high spirits - singing and dancing and stomping their feet.
image captionFor some the long wait is too much.
image captionPictures of Mandela are everywhere, on banners, flags and even tattoos.
image captionThe BBC's Pumza Fihlani reported that hundreds had formed queues outside by 05:00 eager to get one of the 95,000 seats.
image captionThe country is observing a series of commemorations leading up to the funeral on Sunday.
image captionSome of the crowd arrived early, many singing songs from the fight against apartheid whilst waiting for several hours to get into the stadium

Inside the stadium, everyone joined in the dancing, even in the rain.