An open-air stadium packed with as many as 95,000 mourners, and thousands more surging to get close. On the inside, four presidents of the United States — together overseas for what appears to be only the second time in history — and the leaders of most of the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
The memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday will be the biggest security event in recent memory, and all planned on just five days' notice.
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South African police said that thousands of officers would be in place to direct traffic, protect the masses and help the bodyguards that the world's dignitaries bring with them. High government officials, mostly presidents and prime ministers, from at least 88 countries and world bodies will be there, according to an official list from the South African government.
"We will be on hand to make sure people are able to grieve in a safe environment," Lt. Gen. Solomon Makgale, a spokesman for the police, told The Associated Press.
He said that a task force of police, diplomats and intelligence personnel have been making plans and talking to foreign delegations who are on their way to Johannesburg for the memorial.