South Africa prepares for Mandela's funeral

A grieving South Africa is preparing to host a unique gathering of world leaders as the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela approaches.

Since news of his passing on Thursday, ordinary South Africans have been both mourning and celebrating the life of the man who steered South Africa out of white-minority rule and became a symbol of freedom, forgiveness and hope.

The country is now preparing for Tuesday's memorial service, with around 60 world leaders expected to attend, which will see a cortège with Mandela's coffin pass through the streets of Pretoria on three consecutive days.

A special parliament sitting is due to take place today and a full state funeral will take place on 15 December.

A series of other events will take place over the next few days.

U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S President Bill Clinton, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be among those attending Tuesday's memorial service at FNB stadium in Soweto.

They will be joined by 95,000 ordinary South Africans.

On Sunday the country held a "day of prayer" in Mr Mandela's memory.

For further details of the state funeral arrangements visit

Share your memories of Mandela and light a candle for him on his profile at

Image: © Getty

Copyright is owned by Africa Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.