Graca arrives at Mandela memorial

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iol news pic Mandela memorial FNB 12


People start singing as they arrive for a mass memorial for Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium. Photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - Graca Machel has made her first public appearance since the death of her husband Nelson Mandela, as she arrived at his memorial service at the FNB Stadium south of Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Dressed in a black turban and furred coat over a long black dress, two women on either side linked their arms with her as she moved slowly ahead.

Her expression was sombre as she made her way to an underground lift.

Mandela's grandson Ndaba Mandela and other relatives arrived as well.

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu alighted from a minibus, beaming alongside some of his colleagues from the group known as The Elders, of which Mandela was a founding member.

Dressed in his maroon robes, Tutu held hands with former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari and former UN chief Kofi Annan, accompanied by former US president Jimmy Carter and former Irish president Mary Robinson, as they made their way to a lift.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has already mingled with the media.

South African-born Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, dressed in white, and U2 frontman and philanthropist Bono, with his trademark pair of red glasses, also made their way into the stadium.

President Jacob Zuma arrived with an entourage, along with a number of senior government and African National Congress officials.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, India's President Pranab Mukherjee and Cuba's President Raul Castro Ruz were among heads of state that arrived.

Long-time friends of Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and George Bizos, also made their way in.

South Africa's last apartheid head of state FW De Klerk arrived with his wife Elita Georgiades.

Former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar was in the stands wearing a formal Springbok blazer, along with current captain Jean de Villiers. - Sapa

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