Madiba park-and-ride facilities closed

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REUTERS

People sing as they arrive on a bus at the Union Buildings to view the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Photo: Kevin Coombs

Pretoria - Park-and-ride arrangements to take people to the Union Buildings to view Nelson Mandela's body in Pretoria were cancelled by mid-morning on Friday.

“The park-and-ride facilities are full and closing now,” said government communications chief policy and research director Tasneem Carrim just before 11am.

She said, officials would do their utmost to accommodate people already at the Union Buildings for the third and final day in which the former president's body would lie in state, but added, “there are just so many hours in a day”.

Carrim said estimates suggested two people were viewing the body every three seconds, but it appeared the lines were moving even faster on Friday.

By 7.30am, 25 000 people had gathered at the Pretoria Showgrounds, 10 000 at the Fountains Valley Circle, 8 000 at the Union Buildings and 7000 at the LC de Villiers Sports Centre.

“Everyone hopes for a personal chance to say goodbye, but it's not always possible,” said Carrim.

She urged people to attend other memorial services or watch proceedings on television.

As the facilities closed, thousands of people nevertheless continued to queue along the streets of Pretoria. - Sapa


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