World

Dec 10, 2013 5:48 AM by Bethany Rhodes

South Africa prepares for massive Mandela memorial where world leaders will eulogize icon

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - An eclectic mix of world leaders including President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will eulogize Nelson Mandela at a massive memorial service Tuesday in South Africa.

The event is being held in the World Cup soccer stadium where the anti-apartheid champion made his last public appearance. FNB stadium is located in Soweto, the black township that was at the center of the violent struggle against apartheid.

A crowd of close to 100,000 mourners is expected, including nearly 100 world leaders. Besides Obama and Raul Castro, eulogies are to be delivered by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and and China's vice president (Li Yuanchao). Other speakers include the presidents of Brazil, Namibia and India, as well as tributes from Mandela's grandchildren. South African President Jacob Zuma is to give the keynote address.

The stage will be protected by bulletproof glass and police promise "thousands" of officers will secure the stadium.

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