Johannesburg - Presidents past and present, global figures and A-list celebrities made their way to South Africa on Monday to pay the world's respects at a memorial service and state funeral for freedom icon Nelson Mandela.
More than 80 000 people will attend an impassioned, emotional tribute on Tuesday to the country's inspirational first black president at the FNB stadium in Soweto, where he made his last major public appearance for the 2010 World Cup final.
The service is seen as a final chance for grieving South Africans to unite in a mass celebration of Mandela's life ahead of the more formal state funeral.
Although Mandela had been critically ill for months, the announcement of his death on Thursday night was still a body blow for a country that had looked to his unassailable moral authority as a comforting constant in a time of uncertain social and economic change.
Parliament was to meet on Monday in Cape Town for a special session to honour the hero who emerged from 27 years in prison to lead his country out of the shadow of apartheid into a multi-racial democracy.
Mandela last appeared in the House in February 2010, the 20th anniversary of his release.
Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at Remembered.co.za.