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Published: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 2:46:24 PM
Updated: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 2:47:13 PM

More than 70 leaders expected for Mandela memorial, funeral

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - More than 70 heads of state and government are expected in South Africa this week to attend funeral events for former president Nelson Mandela, with most due to attend a huge memorial service in Johannesburg on Tuesday, officials said.

"The whole world is coming to South Africa," foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said.

After what has been billed as one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history, only a handful of dignitaries would go to Sunday's state burial in Mandela's ancestral home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape, he added.

"We're trying to keep that to the family," Monyela told Talk Radio 702.

(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher and Peroshni Govender; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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