Barack Obama and Raul Castro will both offer eulogies for Mandela at a sweeping memorial service to be held at the Soweto stadium that hosted the 2010 World Cup final.They are among more than 90 heads of state and government scheduled to attend an extended state funeral that will culminate in Mandelas burial on Sunday in the rural village of Qunu where he spent his early childhood. The world literally is coming to South Africa, said the governments head of public diplomacy, Clayson Monyela. A massive security operation will swing into place as 80,000 people descend on the Soweto venue for what is seen as a final chance for grieving South Africans to unite in a mass celebration of Mandelas life ahead of the more formal lying in state. The Indian and Brazilian presidents will also speak, reflecting the extraordinary global reach, popularity and influence of one of the 20th centurys towering political figures. Four of Mandelas adored grandchildren will speak for his family, while neither his widow, Graca Machel, nor his ex-wife Winne Madikizela-Mandela are listed on the programme. Some 120,000 people will be able to watch the event on giant screens set up in three overflow stadiums in Johannesburg. Although Mandela had been critically ill for months, the announcement of his death on Thursday night still rocked a country that had looked to his unassailable moral authority as a comforting constant in a time of uncertain social and economic change. I dont think you are ever prepared enough, said Zelda la Grange, who was Mandelas long-time personal assistant both during and after his presidency. We had prepared ourselves emotionally but still we are overcome by this feeling of loss and sadness, La Grange said. A single candle was lit Monday in Mandelas tiny prison cell on Robben Island, where he spent the harshest of his 27 years in apartheid jails, before emerging to lead his country out of the shadow of apartheid into a multi-racial democracy.AFP
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‘Nelson Mandela‘s funeral will be one of biggest in world’
“These were all global figures who attracted millions of viewers, but I have little doubt in saying that the entire world, not just the musical or religious fraternities, will be remembering Nelson Mandela. “The involvement of people in this funeral will exceed I think all these three figures together in terms of numbers,” Vadi said. “These were all global figures who attracted millions of viewers, but the entire world will be remembering Nelson Mandela,” said an ANC leader. “This is because Mandela’s nature cut across nations of the world and all political, linguistic, cultural, ethnic and social divides. Whether you belonged to the Western democratic world, the capitalistic order or any other order opposed to that, Mandela’s influence reached all four corners of the world. “Mandela stood for principle over power. He was a man of immense power himself, but he stood for the principle and not for abuse of power. He stood for selflessness over selfishness. There were many things that Mandela could have acquired because of his stature, but he stood for something beyond himself. He placed humility over pride and egotistical behaviour, he said. More than 30 religious and community organisations packed the venue, which had been named after Mahatma Gandhi and officially opened by Mandela during one of his 10 visits to this largest Indian area in the province. Vadi said Lenasia was perhaps the only township that could claim to have had so many visits from Mandela. Speaker after speaker from various religious and cultural organisations lauded the role that Mandela had played in uniting the people of South Africa in a peaceful manner.
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Mandela funeral: Tiny village Qunu braces for elaborate operation
The ex-president will receive a Christian burial, but also the Xhosa rituals of his community with an address to his spirit. Boston police officer faces assault with a dangerous Boston police officer faces assault with a dangerous A Boston police officer will be in court on Thursday to answer to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. International Thamsanqa Jantjie: ‘Fake’ sign language interpreter claims he Thamsanqa Jantjie: ‘Fake’ sign language interpreter claims he Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, was seen on stage alongside world leaders signing meaningless gibberish that was immediately detected by people in South Africa’s hearing-impaired community. International Mandela funeral: Tiny village Qunu braces for elaborate Mandela funeral: Tiny village Qunu braces for elaborate The population of Qunu is just under 300, but a mass invasion is underway ahead of Nelson Mandela