State Funeral, Public Farewells Expected For Nelson Mandela


(Photo Credit: Todd Baxter/CNN)

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(CNN) — There will be both public and private farewells for former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95.

In the next three or four days, his body is expected to be taken to a military hospital and embalmed, according to government sources.

There will be a memorial service in the Johannesburg soccer stadium where the World Cup final was played in 2010. Heads of state may attend this public farewell.

Afterward, the government sources say, Mandela will lie in state for several days at the government’s seat in Pretoria.

His casket will be placed under a dome very close to the place where he took the oath of office when he became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994.

Next week, probably on Friday or Saturday, Mandela will be taken by military aircraft to his ancestral hometown of Qunu, which he had asked to be his final resting place.

Heads of state and royalty from around the world are expected to make the journey to the rural homestead, where a state funeral will be held and Mandela will be laid to rest.

There will be a mix of Western and African tradition throughout the coming days.

The elders of Mandela’s tribe are expected to play a prominent role.

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