Mandela Funeral Arrangements Announced as South Africa Mourns Death and Celebrates Life of 'Madiba'

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By Mark Piggott | December 8, 2013 4:46 AM EST

An image of late South African President Nelson Mandela is projected on the facade of Paris town hall, December 6, 2013.

As South Africa continues to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela - known by many in the country by his tribal name, "Madiba" - details of the funeral arrangements have been released.

Sunday 8 December will be a day of national day of prayer, reflection and meditation. President Zuma invited South Africans to attend places of worship and other public places to give thanks for his long and eventful life: "We should, while mourning, also sing at the top of our voices, dance and do whatever we want to do, to celebrate the life of this outstanding revolutionary who kept the spirit of freedom alive and led us to a new society. Let us sing for Madiba."

On Tuesday 10 December there will be an official memorial service at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium, which can hold 90,000 people and was the site of Mandela's final major public appearance at the 2010 World Cup.

Then, over three successive mornings - 11, 12 and 13 December - the cortege will depart the morgue in Pretoria for the Union Buildings in the centre of the capital, where his body will lie in state. Mourners are being encouraged to line the route.

Following the final procession, Mandela's body will be flown to Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up. Mandela's funeral will take place on Sunday 15 December. Heads of state and monarchs from all over the world are expected to attend, including representatives of the British royal family.

Speaking shortly after Mandela's death Prince William paid tribute to an "extraordinary and inspiring man".

Imprisoned by the white government for 27 years, Mandela led his country from the darkness of the apartheid era to democracy, becoming the country's first black President and winning worldwide admiration for his message of reconciliation. He died on 5 December 2013, aged 95. In South Africa shock and sadness have been joined by celebration as hundreds gather outside his home to dance and sing.

Mandela's family have released their first statement in which they pay tribute to the "pillar of the family": "In our hearts and souls he will always be with us, his spirit endures. We have lost a great man, a son of the soil whose greatness in our family was in the simplicity of his nature in our midst - a caring family leader who made time for all and on that score we miss him dearly."

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