People started gathering at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, singing and dancing for their leader.
The service will be held at the 95,000 capacity FNB stadium, where Mr Mandela made his last public appearance. It will also be shown on big screens at three "overflow" stadiums. The former South African president died aged 95 last Thursday. The country is observing a series of commemorations leading up to the funeral on Sunday.