The body of former president Nelson Mandela has arrived at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, after a procession from 1 Military hospital.
Hundreds of people broke into song, ululated, and danced as Mandela's coffin, draped in the South African flag, was accompanied by more than 20 cars and many motorbikes.
Mandela died on Thursday night at his Houghton, Johannesburg, home at the age of 95.
Thousands of people are expected to descend on Tshwane for the three-day viewing of Mandela’s body, prompting the city to activate and put in place teams from emergency, disaster and metro police, to proactively manage the potential crowd hotspots.
City spokesman Blessing Manale said: “We have made plans to manage, among other areas, the mass influx to the central business district and Union Buildings, and Church Square.”
Mandela’s body will travel through the city from Thaba Tshwane to the Union Buildings every morning until Friday. Members of the public have been invited to line the streets along Kgosi Mampuru Road, and Madiba Street leading up to the Union Buildings, where the casket will rest on a stage from 8am to 5.30pm every day.
Wednesday morning will see members of the Mandela family and very important people viewing the body from 10am until 12am, after which the public will be allowed to file through.
The city has provided buses to ferry people from the Tshwane Events Centre, the LC de Villiers sports facility in Hatfield and the Fountains Valley Park from 10am
The city stressed on Tuesday that only those coming in on these buses would be allowed access to the Union Buildings.
Among the strict restrictions that have been put in place is the prohibition of cellphones and cameras in the Union Buildings, to ensure that no pictures are taken.
Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa will on Tuesday morning receive a full complement of the Gauteng government delegation at the City Hall, where he and Tshwane city councillors will welcome them.
The delegation is expected to arrive at 7.30am and will include Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane who, together with the mayor will lead the entourage to the Union Buildings, where they will file past and view Madiba’s body from 10am.
Manale said: “They will join the procession, which will be led by the presidency and the Mandela family, followed by cabinet and heads of state, before they can view it.”
The Gauteng government delegation will comprise the executives of the province, legislature (MPLs), metro councillors, district and local councillors, and top senior officials, Manale added.
Among anticipated mishaps in the aftermath of the event, are mourners or people staying behind, and possible damage to public infrastructure. Severe weather conditions, traffic congestion and criminal activity will also be monitored.
On Wednesday Tshwane identified areas of interest associated with the legacy of Mandela, among them the Pretoria Central Prison.
Other places of interest include Freedom Park on Salvokop, the Palace of Justice –where Mandela and the other Rivonia trialists were sentenced to life in imprisonment in 1963, and the intersections of Lilian Ngoyi and Madiba streets, and Nelson Mandela Drive and Madiba Street.
Pretoria News, Sapa