A huge arena has been set up at the homestead of former South African president Nelson Mandela in Qunu ahead of his funeral on Sunday. The arena will house world leaders and mourners who are expected to attend Madiba’s funeral. The 15 metre-high arena is situated right at the centre of Madiba’s farm about 200 metres from the gravesite, where Mandela, the first democratic president of South Africa, will be buried. About eight men in yellow overalls could be seen tending to the gravesite, while at the big arena the sound of hammers beating against steel echoed. As the rain came down on the village, constructive workers in protective gear worked diligently beneath a massive crane. At the gravesite flowers were being planted while the concrete road leading to it was being swept. Meanwhile, security in the village is being stepped up: 12 armoured military vehicles were parked alongside his house, flanking the N2 highway which has been closed to all but heavy trucks since Friday when the world awoke to news of the icon’s death. Police on horseback patrolled the entire village and surrounding areas. Mthatha, too, was abuzz today: the streets were being swept, and lampposts were fitted with branded banners and posters bearing Mandela’s face. Municipal workers were even fixing potholes.