Nearly 90 leaders from across the world are in South Africa for the memorial service to Nelson Mandela hail one of humanity’s great peacemakers.
Presidents, Barack Obama of the U.S, Goodluck Jonathan Of Nigeria, Raul Castro of Cuba, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Britain’s David Cameron, Francois Hollande of France, Boni Yayi and other eminent personalities such as Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ban Ki Moon, Koffi Annan and many others joined the late Mandela’s family and South Africans who braved the rain, to celebrate South Africa’s first black leader, who died on Thursday aged 95.
The memorial is being held at the gigantic bowl-shaped Soccer City, a stadium steeped in Mandela history. It was there that the Nobel peace prize winner made his last public appearance three years ago, waving to fans from the back of a golf cart at the World Cup final. It was also there, 20 years earlier, that he addressed tens of thousands of supporters two days after his release from prison, eliciting a deafening roar from the crowd with a clenched fist raised to the sky and a single word: “Amandla”, the Zulu and Xhosa word for power
|South Africans are out en masse to pay tribute to their 'Tata'|
Earlier yesterday, Zelda la Grange, Mandela’s personal assistant for more than a decade had said, “Tomorrow, people should all be honoring their relationship with Madiba. If it means shaking hands with the enemy, yes, I would like to see that, that is what Nelson Mandela was and actually is – bringing people together despite their differences.” As if listening to him, US President, Barack Obama after his speech shook the hands of other dignitaries present, including that of sworn US enemy, Cuba’s Raul Castro.
|Barack Obama giving his speech||Epic Moment, Barack Obama of the US, shakes
hands with Raul Castro of Cuba
After Today’s event, Mandela’s remains will lie in state for three days at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was sworn in as president in 1994.
He will then be buried on Sunday, December 15, in Qunu, his ancestral home in the rolling, windswept hills of the Eastern Cape Province, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg.
|British Prime Minister, David Cameron & CNN's
|Crown Prince of Spain, Don Felipe|
|Ex British Prime Minister, Tony Blair||Ex US President, Bill Clinton|
|Koffi Annan and Desmond Tutu||Mandela's third wife, Graca Machel|
|Mandela's women, Winnie Mandela and Graca Machel||Vice President of China, Li Yuanchao|
|Barak Obama arrives with wife, Michel,Ex President
George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton
|Boni Yayi of Benin Republic|
|Bono and Chalize Theron||Mandela's Succesor, Thabo Mbeki|
|Naomi Campbell||South African President, Jacob Zuma|
|South Africa's last white president, F.W De Clerk|
Photo Credit: Kevin Lamarque
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