Crowds trickle in at Orlando Stadium

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People start singing as they arrive for a mass memorial for lNelson Mandela at FNB Stadium. Photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - People were braving the pouring rain and making their way into the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday, where the memorial service of former president Nelson Mandela will be broadcast live.

“I am here to say farewell to the greatest man that has ever walked this Earth,” said pensioner Pauline Thithi from Mzimhlophe.

“He emancipated black people... we no longer carry passes, we are free,” she said.

Mothers carried babies on their backs and occupied the covered upper tiers in the stadium. Some had packed lunch and beverages for the day.

Eleven-year-old Rethabile Skota of Ennerdale said she came with her mother to learn about Mandela.

“I used to see him on television. He was a good man.”

Emelia Khosa, from Diepkloof said she only learnt about Mandela's death on Friday morning.

“I was busy doing laundry and had not watched television; I was shocked when my neighbour told me he had died the previous night,” she said.

The stadium's soccer pitch was already water logged as the rain continued to pour down across Johannesburg.

Music was being played through huge speakers mounted on a stage built on the pitch.

A live screening of the memorial service, set to start at the FNB Stadium, will be broadcast to Orlando Stadium from just before 11am. - Sapax

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