JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- World leaders and joyous South Africans have gathered to honor Nelson Mandela at a Soweto soccer stadium.
The ceremony began about an hour late, and while the mood was celebratory, the crowds twice booed scandal-plagued South African President Jacob Zuma, who gave the keynote address.
President Obama then gave his eulogy saying Nelson Mandela earned his place in history through struggle, shrewdness, persistence and faith. Obama also compared Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. Obama urged the world to act on Mandela's legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and racism.
Obama wrapped up his eulogy saying Mandela was the last great liberator of the 20th century.
Shortly after Obama finished his opening remarks, he then was greeted by a line of world leaders and heads of state attending the memorial. He shook hands with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who has clashed with Obama over alleged National Security Agency spying. Obama also shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro.
The U.S. and Cuba have recently taken small steps toward rapprochement, raising hopes the two nations could be on the verge of a breakthrough in relations.