Abbott and Shorten to visit South Africa to mourn Mandela

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will be just two of the luminaries to visit South Africa during the designated week of mourning for Nelson Mandela.

A service for the late anti-apartheid activist and first black president of the country is to be held on Tuesday in a stadium capable of holding 90,000 people.

Each seat is expected to be filled.

Mr Abbott has ordered the Australian Government flags be flown at half-mast for the day.

Australia's top politicians will join US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, along with presidential predecessors George W Bush and Bill Clinton.

A state funeral will be held on December 15 and is to be buried in his ancestral village of Qunu.