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Preparations in high gear for Mandela's memorial service tomorrow

Published: Monday December 9, 2013 | 6:18 pm Comments 0
An image of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela is shown on a big screen as work is carried out to put up a stage at the FNB stadium where his memorial service will take place on Tuesday, in Johannesburg, South Africa - AP
An image of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela is shown on a big screen as work is carried out to put up a stage at the FNB stadium where his memorial service will take place on Tuesday, in Johannesburg, South Africa - AP
Workers wait to be placed outside the FNB stadium where the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela will take place on Tuesday, in Johannesburg, South Africa - AP Photo
Workers wait to be placed outside the FNB stadium where the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela will take place on Tuesday, in Johannesburg, South Africa - AP Photo

Crews worked overtime today to prepare the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa for tomorrow’s memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela.

Mandela died last week at the age of 95.

The stadium, where Mandela delivered his first major speech after his release from prison, can hold some 90,000 people, but is not large enough to hold the hundreds of thousands clamouring to celebrate Mandela's life.

The government has set up overflow locations at other stadiums and facilities throughout the country.

With private vehicles banned from the area around the stadium, the government has activated bus service from around the country and stepped up train service to move the crowds.

Tens of thousands of South Africans, dozens of presidents and prime ministers, celebrities and ordinary people are expected to gather for the four-hour memorial service.

CNN’s Robyn Curnow says based on reports from officials Mandela’s funeral is shaping up to be one of the largest in recent history.

With 91 heads of state, including Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, attending the ceremony, security will be tight.

Mandela will be buried on Sunday.

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