Hundreds welcome Mandela’s body to Union Buildings

2013-12-11 08:50

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Hundreds of people have descended on Pretoria to witness the arrival of the body of former president Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings.

Today marks the first day of Mandela’s body lying in state. It will also lie in state tomorrow and on Friday, and will then be transported to Qunu in the Eastern Cape for his funeral on Sunday.

People from all walks of life waited patiently outside the Union Buildings for the military motorcade carrying Mandela’s body to appear.

They sang, danced and whistled in his honour.

Streets surrounding the Union Buildings were closed for traffic, creating a nightmare for those stuck in morning rush-hour traffic.

Military and police choppers hovered in the Pretoria sky, making a deafening noise.

A guard of honour was formed outside the Union Buildings as the hearse bearing Mandela’s body approached.

Nonnie Maila said she would rather be late for work than miss being part of such a historical event.

“My boss will understand that I couldn’t miss this,” Maila said.

A soldier stationed at the Union Buildings told City Press: “You are not likely to see this ever again in your lifetime.”

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