South Africa prepares for Nelson Mandela‘s funeral, memorial; President Obama, former President Bush, other world leaders to attend
PHOTOS: Stars playing Nelson Mandela AP Photo/Denis Farrell “The official memorial service will be held on the 10th of December at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg,” Zuma said. “From the 11th to the 13th of December the remains of our beloved Madiba will lie in state…in Pretoria, where he served as the first president of this young democracy; during these days official memorial services will also be held in all provinces and regions. Once again, we thank all South Africans for the dignity, respect, and the support that has been provided to the Mandela family from the period of Madiba’s illness to his eventual passing.” The revered South African statesman, who spent 27 years in prison for treason before becoming the apartheid-torn country’s first black president in 1994, died Thursday, Dec. 5, at his home after being in failing health for some time. Zuma announced Mandela’s passing in a televised address. “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss,” Zuma said on Thursday. “Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood. Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause.” Mandela’s last formal public appearance was during the 2010 World Cup, when his country played host.He had most recently been hospitalized in Pretoria in June for a recurring lung infection, his fifth time in two years. Instagram Countless celebrities paid tribute to thelate political and cultural icon, including Oprah Winfrey .
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World figures such as Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama are expected to attend parts of the memorial, as are celebrities such as Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey.
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