Limit reached for Mandela viewing

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People react as the hearse carrying the coffin of Nelson Mandela travels through a street in Pretoria. Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters

Pretoria - The crowd limit has been reached for the viewing of the body of former president Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Wednesday.

“Government wants to advise members of the public that the cut-off has been reached for people wishing to view president Mandela's body at the Union Buildings this afternoon,” he told reporters in Pretoria shortly after 4pm.

“Large numbers of people are still in queues at the various points around the city of Tshwane from which mourners are being transported. Government welcomes the interest people have shown in wanting to bid Madiba farewell, but we have reached the limit for the day.”

He said the government had received complaints that small children were attending. Chabane appealed to the public to not bring children. He also appealed to those going to the Union Buildings to dress appropriately.

“We don't want to be tempted to apply strict measures, but we think others know what they are supposed to do - what men are supposed to wear and what they are not supposed to wear, and women, they know what is it that is supposed to happen,” Chabane said.

He appealed to the public to follow protocol. He said the second procession would leave from 1 Military Hospital at 7am on Thursday morning, and was expected to reach the Union Buildings at 8am.

Mandela's body will lie in state until Friday.

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


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