As it happened: Nelson Mandela memorial service

Key points

  • Nelson Mandela's official memorial service is being held at Soweto's FNB stadium in front of a huge crowd
  • It is one of the biggest gatherings of international dignitaries in recent years, with more than 90 current heads of state or government attending
  • To cheers, US President Barack Obama hailed Mr Mandela as the "last great liberator of the 20th Century", but South African President Jacob Zuma was booed
  • On his way to the stage, Mr Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro, a rare gesture of friendship between two deeply opposed nations
  • Mr Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria from 11-13 December. His state funeral is on Sunday in his Eastern Cape village of Qunu
  • All times in GMT

Live text


  • Zoe Murphy 
  • Andree Massiah 
  • Becky Branford 
  • David Walker 

Last updated 10 December 2013

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