20 000 queue to see Madiba

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pta dec 10

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Thousands of people are waiting for buses to ferry them to the Union Building to see Nelson Mandela's body lying in state.

Pretoria - More than 20 000 people queued to see former president Nelson Mandela's body lying in state at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, the City of Tshwane said on Thursday.

"We have activated three park-and-rides.... So far there are over 20,000 people that have been queuing," spokesman Selby Bokaba said on the south lawns of the Union Buildings.

"We are trying to ferry as many people as possible."

He said the number of people was increasing, but that no cut-off had been called yet.

Regarding the park-and-ride at Fountains Valley, Bokaba said the technical glitch had been fixed and buses were moving.

"We managed to resolve the problem and buses were dispatched to Fountain Valley. Some... celebrities were ferried from Fountains Valley," he said.

Copy of IOL MANDELA-_1212_11

People queue to view the body of former president Nelson Mandela as he lies in state at the Union Buildings.

REUTERS

Security officials stationed at Fountains Valley said thousands of people were waiting for buses.

People waited in the line for hours in the heat, with many sheltering under umbrellas. One person fainted in the heat and was taken away. There was no more parking space for the increasing number of vehicles.

Young and old, black and white, shared stories on their moments with Mandela.

Men on bicycles sold ice-cream, and other vendors sold Mandela flags, T-shirts, and posters.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last Thursday, aged 95. The official memorial service was held at the FNB Stadium, in Soweto, on Tuesday, and was attended by about 100 current and former heads of state and government.

Mandela will be buried in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.

Sapa


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