JOHANNESBURG (AP) - South Africans flocked to houses of worship for a national day of prayer and reflection to honor former President Nelson Mandela, starting planned events to commemorate the liberation struggle icon that will culminate next Sunday in what is expected to be one of the biggest funerals in modern times.
A national memorial service for the man who, as the country's first black president, forged a new multiracial South Africa after helping to dismantle apartheid, will be held at a Johannesburg stadium on Tuesday.
His body will lie in state at the Union Buildings, the seat of government, in the nation's capital, Pretoria, from Wednesday to Friday, followed by his funeral and burial in the village where he spent his childhood in a remote rural part of the country next Sunday.
MORE STORIES ABOUT NELSON MANDELA
* Crowds pay tribute to Mandela in S. Africa
* Ex-US President Carter heading to Mandela memorial
* Focus on Mandela: A local photog shares her candid photos
* Atlantans mourn Mandela, fill monument with flowers
* Nelson Mandela to be buried Dec. 15
* Local civil rights leaders remember Mandela
* Former South African President Nelson Mandela dies at 95