Mandela memorial: Quotes, pictures and moments of the day

December 10, 2013 8:54 PM

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Mandela memorial: Quotes, pictures and moments of the day

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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