JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa is preparing for tomorrow's massive memorial in a soccer stadium to honor the late Nelson Mandela.
Nearly 100 heads of state are expected at the stadium, where some mourners were already camped out today to be the first ones inside. Authorities expect overflow crowds to watch the event at nearby stadiums as well.
A program released by the South African government shows that President Barack Obama will speak, as will U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Cuban President Raul Castro and others. Mandela friends and family members will also speak.
At the stadium today -- the same one where Mandela made his last public appearance at the 2010 World Cup, workers were constructing a stage protected by bulletproof glass.
Police promised thousands of officers will secure the stadium -- although security appeared lax today. A security company owner was using his small car as a mobile office to hire guards at the stadium.
Roads for several square miles around the stadium will be closed tomorrow, and people will have to walk or take public transportation to the stadium.
After the stadium memorial tomorrow, Mandela's body will lie in state at the seat of government in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, from Wednesday to Friday. He'll be buried Sunday in his rural hometown.
222-c-23-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"own political development"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the president will be speaking tomorrow at Nelson Mandela's memorial observance. (9 Dec 2013)
<<CUT *222 (12/09/13)££ 00:23 "own political development"
202-a-10-(Manfred Jacobs, officer, Correctional Services, in AP interview)-"the great statesman"-Correctional Services Officer Manfred Jacobs says wreaths of flowers are being laid in front of the Nelson Mandela statue outside a prison where the anti-apartheid leader spent the last three years of his 27-year imprisonment. (9 Dec 2013)
<<CUT *202 (12/09/13)££ 00:10 "the great statesman"
GRAPHICSBANK: US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama waving from the steps of Air Force One as they prepare to depart from Andrews Air Force Base for South Africa to attend memorial service in honor of Nelson Mandela, graphic element on gray (9 Dec 2013)
APPHOTO TH106: This handout image provided on Monday Dec.9, 2013 by the GCIS of the front page of the program for the memorial service for late South African president Nelson Mandela. Scores of heads of state and government and other foreign dignitaries, including royalty, are beginning to converge on South Africa as the final preparations for Tuesday's national memorial service for liberation struggle icon Nelson Mandela are put in place. (AP Photo/HO, GCIS) (9 Dec 2013)
<<APPHOTO TH106 (12/09/13)££
APPHOTO XTH115: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, waves at the crowd after visiting the family of the former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. Scores of heads of state and government and other foreign dignitaries, including royalty, are beginning to converge on South Africa as the final preparations for Tuesday's national memorial service for liberation struggle icon Nelson Mandela are put in place. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe) (9 Dec 2013)
<<APPHOTO XTH115 (12/09/13)££