World

Mourners and world leaders gather in South Africa ahead of Mandela memorial at stadium

  • An image of former South African president Nelson Mandela is projected on a screen at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, ahead of his memorial service Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013.  Mandela died on Thursday Dec. 5, aged 95. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    An image of former South African president Nelson Mandela is projected on a screen at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, ahead of his memorial service Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. Mandela died on Thursday Dec. 5, aged 95. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • People dance as they arrive for the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. Mandela died on Thursday Dec. 5, aged 95. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    People dance as they arrive for the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. Mandela died on Thursday Dec. 5, aged 95. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

Mourners are gathering at a stadium near Johannesburg for a massive memorial service honoring Nelson Mandela.

A light rain fell Tuesday as mourners gathered at FNB Stadium in Soweto, the Johannesburg township that was a stronghold of support for the anti-apartheid struggle that Mandela embodied.

Singing, joyous crowds are swelling in the stands despite the rain. Workers still were welding at a VIP area as the first spectators arrived.

Some 100 world leaders are expected. U.S. President Barack Obama landed in South Africa hours before the event was due to start.

Police have promised tight security, and are patrolling a wide perimeter around the stadium. Even so, the first crowds entered the stadium without being searched.

Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95. He will be buried Sunday.