Durban - Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium was rapidly filling up on Friday, amid a festive atmosphere, to commemorate the life and times of former president Nelson Mandela.
Scores of packed buses were arriving outside the stadium, with long queues of people waiting to enter.
By noon, the stadium was a sea of South African flags and Mandela posters being waved in the air to loud music.
Every time a dignitary arrived, there were roars of approval. KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu provoked the loudest welcome.
Outside, numerous hawkers were selling T-shirts and hats with Mandela's image and name on them, while others sold South African flags and sunglasses.