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Four living US presidents to attend Mandela funeral

By Crystal Oderson in Johannesburg
Posted on Monday, 9 December 2013 14:35

Soweto, where Mandela had a home, was a hive of activity, while Qunu, his rural village and where he is to be buried, hardly had any activity.

Preparations are underway for one of the largest and high profile funerals the world has witnessed in recent history, with several heads of state and dignitaries expected to descend on the African nation.

An official memorial service will be held at FNB Stadium, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday, with the funeral taking place in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.

Topping the bill in attendance is US president Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, as well as three former US presidents — Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, and their wives.

British PM David Cameron, Prince Charles and Oprah Winfrey are also amongst the guests who will be in attendance at the memorial.

President Jacob Zuma will address the official memorial service and it is expected that close to 100 000 people will attend.

The programme would also include tributes by Heads of State from the various regions of the globe.

The government announced at the weekend that Mandela’s coffin would be taken through the streets of Pretoria in a cortege every morning from Wednesday to Friday.

He will lie in state at the Union Buildings after the main memorial service on Tuesday at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Since Mandela’s death mourners have left flowers at the base of the property’s wall in Qunu.

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