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South Africa prepares for massive memorial service for Mandela

Updated: 12/09/2013 10:46 PM
Created: 12/09/2013 10:34 PM WHEC.com

South Africa is preparing for tomorrow's massive memorial in a soccer stadium to honor the late Nelson Mandela.
    
Nearly 100 heads of state are expected at the stadium, where some mourners were already camped out today to be the first ones inside. Authorities expect overflow crowds to watch the event at nearby stadiums as well.
    
A program released by the South African government shows that President Barack Obama will speak, as will U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Cuban President Raul Castro and others. Mandela friends and family members will also speak.
    
At the stadium today -- the same one where Mandela made his last public appearance at the 2010 World Cup, workers were constructing a stage protected by bulletproof glass.
    
Police promised thousands of officers will secure the stadium -- although security appeared lax today. A security company owner was using his small car as a mobile office to hire guards at the stadium.
    
Roads for several square miles around the stadium will be closed tomorrow, and people will have to walk or take public transportation to the stadium.
    
After the stadium memorial tomorrow, Mandela's body will lie in state at the seat of government in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, from Wednesday to Friday. He'll be buried Sunday in his rural hometown.



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