Mandela was a giant of history, says Obama as he leads in celebrating icon

US President Barack Obama delivers a speech during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg on December 10, 2013. Photo/AFP

What you need to know:

  • World leaders pay glowing tribute to South African hero despite downpour that delayed historic ceremony
  • US president describes Madiba as last liberator of the 20th century
  • Africans challenged to follow the example set by the freedom icon
  • Tens of thousands turn up for memorial service despite downpour

"It is hard to eulogise any man... how much harder to do so for a giant of history.”

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