Day of 'prayer and reflection' in South Africa for Mandela

South African president Jacob Zuma has lead tributes to Nelson Mandela at a church service in Johannesburg. Mandela's funeral will take place on Sunday 15th December in Qunu, Eastern Cape.

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Tiny village of Qunu prepares for the burial of an icon

The village of Qunu, where Nelson Mandela grew up as a child, is preparing to stage his state funeral.

New roads are being finished to accommodate vehicles that will ferry some of the world's most powerful people into the village.

International Correspondent John Irvine has been speaking to locals as they prepare to welcome their most famous son home to rest for the final time.

More: Nelson Mandela: A life in pictures

Former apartheid politician mourns Mandela

A man who worked against and with Nelson Mandela paid tribute to the "incalculable" impact he had on South Africa and the world. Pik Botha served as his country's foreign minister in the last few years of the apartheid regime, and helped negotiate Nelson Mandela's release from prison in 1990.

Read: Nelson Mandela's journey from prisoner to president

Mr Botha said he was grateful to have known and worked with Mandela, whom he later became friends with. He said the challenge for South Africa now is to sustain his legacy, as Mark Austin reports.

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Winnie Mandela and Jacob Zuma pray with the nation

Winnie Mandela attended a service a memorial service in Johannesburg this morning alongside South Africa's president Jacob Zuma.

The former wife of Nelson Mandela joined millions across the country taking part in a national day of prayer and reflection to commemorate the life of the anti-apartheid leader, as Africa Correspondent Rohit Kachroo reports.

More: Winnie Mandela and President Zuma arrive at memorial service

Watch: Mandela 'stood for freedom and fought those who oppressed others'

FNB Stadium to host Nelson Mandela memorial service

The official memorial service for Nelson Mandela will take place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

A message on the government website said it would be attended by members of the public as well as heads of state.

The FNB stadium in Johannesburg will host the memorial service. Credit: Reuters

David Cameron and Barack Obama both announced that they would be travelling to South Africa to pay their respects to the former South African president

"This will give ordinary people and public leaders an opportunity to celebrate Madiba's life collectively," they said in the statement.

A state funeral will be held days later, with the South African government saying "a funeral service and interment ceremony will take place at President Mandela's home and final resting place at Qunu in the Eastern Cape."

Read: South Africans continue to grieve for Nelson Mandela

Congregation break into song at Mandela service

The service marks the start in a series of events to honour South Africa's first black president Credit: ITV News/Nicky Russell-Smith

As the bishop finished his sermon, the Johannesburg congregation rose from their seats before breaking into song and swarming towards the front of the stage singing, dancing, ringing bells and drumming.

The former South African leader's grandson Mandla Mandela and Jacob Zuma also joined the crowd in the singing and dancing.

Watch: Nelson Mandela 'stood for freedom and fought oppression'

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Mandela 'stood for freedom and fought oppression'

Jacob Zuma has hailed the legacy of Nelson Mandela saying he "stood for freedom and fought those who oppressed others".

The South African president was speaking in front of mourners including Winnie Mandela at a service in Johannesburg to commemorate the life of Mandela who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

Zuma said Mandela helped unite South Africa as the "rainbow nation" though his belief in reconciliation.

The service marks the start in a series of events to honour South Africa's first black president culminating in Mandela's funeral next Sunday.

Read: Clapping, drums and bells at Mandela church service

South Africans hold day of prayer for Mandela

South Africans are taking part in a national day of prayer and reflection to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela.

Women sing during a service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Soweto. Credit: Reuters

The prayers mark the start of a series of events to honour South Africa's first black president.

Mandela's former wife Winnie Mandela attended a memorial service in Johannesburg this morning alongside president Jacob Zuma.

Men pray during a service for the former South African leader. Credit: Reuters

A national memorial service for Mandela will be held at a Johannesburg stadium on Tuesday with figures including President Obama and David Cameron expected to attend.

Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria from Wednesday to Friday before his funeral and burial next Sunday.

Watch: Mandela's family speak of their loss

Winnie Mandela arrives at memorial service

Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie Mandela has arrived at a memorial service in Johannesburg as a "national day of prayer and reflection" got underway for the former South African president.

Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie Mandela appeared at the memorial service. Credit: ITV News/Rohit Kachroo

President Jacob Zuma also arrived at the Bryanston Methodist Church to pay tribute to Mandela who died on Thursday at the age of 95.

President Jacob Zuma pictured at the event. Credit: ITV News/Nicky Russell-Smith

The service is one of a series of events to mark the death of the civil rights activist.

Read: Flowers tributes grow outside Mandela's Johannesburg home

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