Former President Nelson Mandela's life was about the service to others, his grandson General Thanduxolo Mandela said on Tuesday.
"His life was about service to others," he said at the national Memorial Service for the former statesman at FNB stadium.
"I can see Mandela is smiling from above from the equality of men, brotherhood and humanity displayed here," he went on to say. He was speaking on behalf of the family.
He called on mourners to keep Madiba's spirit alive.
His grandchildren namely: Mbuso Mandela, Andile Mandela, Zozuko Dlamini and Phumla Mandela also delivered their tributes to applause from the crowds gathered at the stadium.
Andile spoke of reconciliation and walking in Madiba's footsteps.
Mandela was described as a great tree that has fallen.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said: “We have gathered in sorrow for a mighty loss and in celebration of a mighty life.
“A rainbow emerges from the rain and sun. I hope you will be able to see the rainbow still through the rain of sadness and sorrow of celebration. A rainbow cleans our heart”.
He said on behalf of the United Nations, he sends condolences to Graca Machel, the Mandela family, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, as well as Madiba’s larger family – the people of South Africa, the continent and the world.
“This stadium holds tens of thousands of people but it could not contain our pain today. South Africa has lost a hero, a father. The world has lost a beloved friend,” said Ban.
He added that Madiba was one of the greatest leaders of our time. “He lead by example, he sacrificed so much and was willing to give up everything for freedom and equality and justice.”
Rivonia trialist and Robben Island prisoner, Andrew Mlangeni, said Madiba has inspired billions of people and he epitomised values such as sacrifice.
“He exuded leadership, based on collective thinking,” said Mlangeni.
He added that Madiba had a significant impact on his development as a young man. “I would not have been the man I am today. For that I thank him.”
He urged all to uphold Madiba’s values. “God bless Madiba, God bless his soul!”