South Africa is preparing to host scores of world leaders who are planning to attend tomorrow's memorial service for Nelson Mandela -- the anti-apartheid leader who died last week at the age of 95 -- the VOA (Voice of America) website reports today (December 9, 2013).
U.S. President Barack Obama -- along with former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter -- are making the trek to Johannesburg where the service will be held in Soccer City stadium. George H.W. Bush, 89, is the only living former U.S. president who will not attend the event, due to his inability to travel long distances.
South Africa's foreign minister says there has been "unprecedented interest" from world leaders who want to attend the event, which will be held under heavy security.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Cuban President Raul Castro, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are among others also expected to attend the service for Mandela, who emerged from 27 years in prison to become South Africa's first black president.