December 9th, 2013
09:40 PM ET

Mandela memorial presents security challenges for world leaders

President Barack Obama and nearly 100 other world leaders will join tens of thousands of mourners in South Africa Monday to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela.

The open-air stadium where Mandela's memorial service is to be held, can seat 94,000 people, and every seat is expected to be filled.

The event will rival in size the 1965 state funeral of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II.

In addition to President Obama, Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will be at the memorial.

But so will at least one U.S. foe, Cuba's President Raul Castro.

Castro will share the stage with President Obama when they speak at the memorial.

[cnnvideo url='http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2013/12/09/exp-erin-intv-brinkley-obama-castro-mandela-memorial.cnn' inline='true']

Will Mandela's message of forgiveness resonate?

And with so many high value targets on hand, and a time crunch of epic proportions, will the venue be safe?

OutFront: Former CIA operative Bob Baer and Joe Hagin, who was the deputy chief of staff for operations for President George W. Bush.

Filed under: International • Nelson Mandela • News
soundoff (One Response)
  1. aobrien

    I am so happy to be able to watch the service for Pres. Mandela. It is heart warming to see how everyone is gathering to recognize this man who loved God and His people. I sincerely wish that the commentators would silence themselves as they are taking away from this important service for the world.

    December 10, 2013 at 6:12 am | Reply

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