South Africans pay tribute to Mandela

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Updated at 2013-12-06 09:40:41 +0000

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — People across South Africa are commemorating Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers as the government prepares funeral ceremonies that will draw leaders and other dignitaries from around the globe.

In a church service Friday, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu said the anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president would want South Africans themselves to be his "memorial" by adhering to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied.

Mourners are gathering outside Mandela's house in Johannesburg, as well as at his old home in the city's black township of Soweto.

South Africa's banking association says banks will close on the day of Mandela's funeral. The government has yet to announce a detailed schedule for a mourning period that is expected to last more than a week.