Long walk to view Madiba

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iol news pic dec12 MANDELA VIEWING QUEUES


People queue to view the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela as he lies in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in this handout aerial picture provided by the South African Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). REUTERS/GCIS/Handout via Reuters

Pretoria - People arriving from the park-and-ride facilities in Pretoria still had to queue on Madiba Street before making the long walk up Government Avenue to the Union Buildings on Thursday.

Some had been waiting in the queue on Madiba Street for more than two hours to view former president Nelson Mandela's body lying in state at the Union Buildings.

Amanda Packery and her family from Alberton started queuing at the Fountains Valley park-and-ride at 9.30am and arrived on Madiba street at 11.40am.

“We waited on the bus for two hours,” she said, still smiling despite the heat.

“We are still willing to wait. We want to pay our respects,” she said.

Diana Nokane, who works in the Pretoria CBD, said she waited on the corner of Madiba Street and Government Avenue for two hours.

“I will wait. I can't go back, because I didn't get a chance to see him when he was alive.”

Earlier, the City of Tshwane said more than 20 000 people had queued on Thursday. It was not clear if everyone would get the opportunity to see Mandela, despite the long wait.

Police handed out water to people waiting along the roads.

A small bus picked up the elderly and pregnant on the corner of Government Avenue so they would not have to wait in the sun.

Mandela's body will lie in state for the third and last time on Friday.

He died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last Thursday at the age of 95.

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


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