Huge crowds and a who’s who of world leaders are expected to attend services honouring the late South African president Nelson Mandela.

Officially-sanctioned services begin Tuesday and culminate with a funeral in Mandela’s hometown next Sunday.

Here's a day-by-day breakdown of how the memorial events will unfold over the next week.

Monday, Dec. 9

The South African government held a special sitting of the two houses of parliament on Monday, during which lawmakers paid tribute to their country's first black, democratically-elected president.

Kgalema Motlanthe, the country's deputy president and a member of Mandela's African National Congress political party, opened the proceedings with a speech describing how the icon's death caused a "sweeping feeling of sorrow" around the world.

Outside the parliament building in Cape Town, people laid flowers at the foot of a large image of Mandela. Choirs sang and a big screen projected old video footage of Mandela speaking in parliament.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with former prime ministers Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien arrived in Johannesburg Monday.

Canada Mandela Harper Chretien Mulroney Campbell

Tuesday, Dec. 10

Official services begin Tuesday with a major memorial planned at FNB Stadium. Located on the edge of Soweto, the stadium was the place where Mandela made his last public appearance at the World Cup final in July 2010.


The service will begin at 11 a.m. local time and the gate for the public will open at 6 a.m.

The memorial, which is expected to last for four hours, will include tributes by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz. South Africa President Jacob Zuma will make the keynote address.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said he expects massive crowds far beyond what the stadium's 95,000-person capacity can accomodate.

Big screens will be set up outside the stadium and at overflow venues throughout the country.

Mandela funeral stadium

Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Friday, Dec, 13

Mandela's body will rest in state Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Union Buildings in South Africa's capital Pretoria. The body will be held overnight at 1 Military Hospital.

With long lines of well-wishers expected, the government has called on residents to line the streets to serve as an honour guard as Mandela's body passes between the Union Buildings and the military hospital twice each day.

Saturday, Dec. 14

African National Congress members will hold a ceremony at Waterkloof Air Force Base near Pretoria before Mandela's body is flown to Qunu for the funeral service.

Sunday Dec. 15

The planned funeral service will take place in Qunu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's rural hometown in Eastern Cape Province.

It's expected that thousands of people, including dozens of heads of state, will gather for the state funeral.

Nelson Mandela is improving

Only a few hundred close family members will bid that final farewell to Mandela as he is laid to rest.

The burial area has been especially built for him; some of Mandela's long deceased family members are already buried at the site.

With files from The Associated Press


Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks with former prime ministers Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell and Jean Chretien on board a government plane travelling to South Africa Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Workers wait to be placed outside the FNB stadium where the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela will take place on Tuesday, in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP / Matt Dunham)

Former South African President Nelson Mandela, left, with his wife Graca Machel, right, attends the final of the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in Johannesburg in this file photo taken July 11, 2010 -- Mandela's last public appearance. (AP / Martin Meissner)

Nelson Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa in 2012. (AP / Schalk van Zuydam)