S. Africa Day of Prayer Begins Week of Mandela Tributes

Monday, Dec 9, 2013  |  Updated 6:36 AM CDT
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South Africans of all colors and creeds remembered Nelson Mandela in a day of prayers on Sunday, holding him up as the "Father of the Nation" and as a global beacon of integrity, rectitude and reconciliation, NBC News reported. Mandela, South Africa's first black president who steered his nation out of apartheid, died late on Thursday at 95. The day of prayers begins an official program of mourning

that includes a memorial service in a Johannesburg stadium on Tuesday. Mandela's body will lie in state at the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria, from Wednesday to Friday, followed by a state funeral next Sunday at Mandela's Eastern Cape ancestral home of Qunu - expected to be one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders in modern history. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by former President George W. Bush and his wife, will travel to South Africa for the services.

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