Huge ovation as Obama arrives Mandela memorial

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SOWETO (AFP) – US President Barack Obama received a huge ovation as he arrived an hour late Tuesday at an emotional memorial service for South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (L), US President Barack Obama (C) and First Lady Michelle Obama attending the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg AFP PHOTO / SABC

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (L), US President Barack Obama (C) and First Lady Michelle Obama attending the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg AFP PHOTO / SABC

Obama, scheduled to deliver a personal tribute at the event, was delayed as his motorcade struggled through the rain-soaked route to the Soweto World Cup stadium.

The memorial event was marred by heavy rainfall which began in the early morning.

Obama and his wife Michelle had arrived at Waterkloof air force base near Pretoria after a 16-hour flight on Air Force One from Washington.

They flew in with former president George W. Bush and his wife Laura, while two other former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter travelled separately.

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