World leaders in Mandela's national memorial service mourn 'giant of history'
World leaders in Mandela's national memorial service mourn 'giant of history'

In one of the biggest gatherings of international dignitaries in recent years, with more than 100 current or former heads of state or government attending , Tens of thousands of South Africans have joined dozens of world leaders for the national memorial service for former President Nelson Mandela who died last Thursday, aged 95.

The service was held in front of a vociferous crowd in the FNB stadium in Johannesburg.

Thousands braved the unseasonably cold weather and rain to pay their respects to the country's first black president at the FNB stadium in Soweto. The crowds were in high spirits but were asked to "behave" after booing President Jacob Zuma a number of times. But despite a difficult start, President Zuma delivered his message, describing Madiba as "truly one of a kind".

In his speech, U.N Secretary General " Ban Ki-moon " said there was "sorrow for a mighty loss and celebration of a mighty life".

U.S President Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro on his way to the podium , saying that "South Africa has lost a hero, it has lost a father... He was one of our greatest teachers. He taught by example. He sacrificed so much and was willing to give up all he had for freedom and democracy ".

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