World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of people flocked to Johannesburg's 90,000-seat FNB Stadium on Tuesday to attend an official memorial service for late president and liberation icon Nelson Mandela.
Braving heavy rains, people lined up for hours outside the stadium to pass through watertight security, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene.
Many people sang and danced, while others carried banners bearing the image of Mandela, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 95.
Security has been stepped up in Johannesburg, with numerous police details assigned to secure the FNB Stadium, which will host the four-hour memorial service.
No cars are allowed near the venue, while adjacent roads have been cordoned off.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to address the mourners, who will include a galaxy of international dignitaries including US President Barak Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Mandela's body will not be displayed at the memorial service.
Giant television screens have been set up at several venues throughout the city so that the public can follow the event, which will be broadcast live.
South Africans will have the opportunity to view Mandela's body from Wednesday to Friday at the Union Building in Pretoria, where the late leader's body will lie in state ahead of Sunday's funeral.
Mandela, South Africa's first black president, will finally be laid to rest on Sunday at his rural home in Qunu village in the Eastern Cape.Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Aralık 2013, 15:53