South African President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday paid tribute to veteran anti-apartheid campaigner Father Trevor Huddleston who died in April.
Mandela told a congregation of three thousand people at a memorial service in Johannesburg of the contribution made by Huddleston to the struggle against apartheid.
Tutu expressed wonder that the Anglican Archbishop - the founder of Britain's Anti- Apartheid Movement - saw his dream of outliving white rule come true.
Some three-thousand people gathered for the memorial service for Father Trevor Huddleston at St Mary's Cathedral in Johannesburg.
Huddleston, who died on April 20 in England at the age of 84, helped found Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1959 and led British campaigns for sanctions against South Africa's white-led government.
He was knighted in England for his fight against apartheid shortly before his death.
Huddleston's support for the black cause made him a lifelong friend of African National Congress leaders like President Nelson Mandela and the late Oliver Tambo, whose widow Adelaide attended Tuesday's service.
Two days after his death, politicians from all South African parties backed a parliamentary motion paying tribute to Huddleston as "one of the greatest champions of freedom and equality the world has ever seen".
The memorial service was led by the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Ngongonkulu Ndungane.
"And as we remember with thanksgiving Trevor and all those who have gone before us in the way of Christ, we pray that we may be counted worthy to share with them the life of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, our Lord."
SUPER CAPTION: Ngongonkulu Ndungane, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Huddleston became a monk in 1939 and went to South Africa to work in the black slums near Johannesburg, two years later.
Mandela praised the way Huddleston used his faith to fight against apartheid.
"In Father Huddleston we see exemplified in the most concrete way the contribution that religion has made to our liberation. Whenever the noble ideals and values of religion have been joined with practical action to realise them, it has strengthened us and at
the same time nurtured those ideals within the political movement."
SUPER CAPTION: Nelson Mandela, South African President
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was particularly touched and inspired by Huddleston as a young boy when he saw him raise his hat to Tutu's mother in the street - a sight Tutu had never seen before on the part of a white man.
He added he was particularly proud that Huddleston had outlived the apartheid regime.
"You heard how he used to say 'apartheid is going to die before I do'. How wonderfully prophetic. He did see the death of apartheid. He voted as a South African in 1994, he attended the inauguration of his friend on 10 May 1994 as the first democratically elected President of the new South Africa."
SUPER CAPTION: Archbishop Desmond Tutu
A band led by the musician Jonas Gwanga ended the service with a mournful tune.
But there was one moment of disharmony during the service.
The singing of the national anthem became an issue as the mourners sang in native African languages, but neglected to sing a verse in Afrikaans, the language of descendants of Dutch settlers.
Mandela, who has been trying to build a spirit of unity in South Africa, expressed dismay and in response, the chastened crowd sang the entire national anthem again to include the missing verse.