Orlando vendors wait for mourners

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People arrive at the FNB Stadium ahead of the national memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela. Photo: Yves Herman

Johannesburg - Stall operators at Orlando Stadium in Soweto were hopeful that mourners would arrive in numbers on Tuesday.

“I am ready, the food and hot beverages are already prepared. This rain is interfering with our business though,” said Dudu Mthombeni.

A plate of pap, meat, and a salad cost R30, she said. Tea or coffee cost R8.

She said she was concerned about the pouring rain, but remained hopeful.

“This is a big day. South Africans will arrive to bid farewell to Madiba.”

Next to her is Aubrey's stall.

He specialises in bunny chows and cold drinks.

“I took after my mother. She used to be a hawker outside the stadium; she then got allocated this stall after the stadium was built,” he said.

The stadium was still empty early on Tuesday morning, with only police officers and security guards inside the venue taking up positions on the soccer pitch.

No hawkers were allowed to trade near the stadium. The food stalls faced the Mooki Street BRT station.

No bus had stopped at the station yet to off-load mourners.

The programme at Orlando Stadium is set to start at 8am with music performances. The live crossing to the FNB Stadium, also in Soweto, will be at 10.50am.

Orlando stadium is one of the overflow venues for members of the public to follow the official memorial service for former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium.

The memorial is scheduled to start at 11am. - Sapa

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