People wait in line to catch a glimpse of Mandela’s body

2013-12-11 13:47

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Hundreds of people gathered patiently on the streets around the Union Buildings in Pretoria today to get a glimpse of the body of Nelson Mandela which will lie in state here for three days.

Some have come from as far as Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo. Throngs of people were already standing in snaking queues at various park and ride spots around the Pretoria city centre from as early as 4am.

Many had no idea that the public would only be able to view Mandela’s body after midday.

Miriam Medupe from Mamelodi, Pretoria, said she had left her house at 5am and arrived in town 30 minutes later.

She said: “When I got to the Pretoria showgrounds (one of the park and ride spots), people were already forming a queue.”

Medupe (57) was disappointed to see that many people were already at the show grounds because she thought she would be among the first 10 to enter.

“I didn’t know we would only be allowed in after midday. If that had been communicated earlier, I wouldn’t have woken up so early in the morning,” she said.

After waiting for more than three hours at the showgrounds, Medupe decided to take a taxi to the Union Buildings. She found a few people toyi-toying on Stanza Bopape Street and joined in.

“Although I’m old, my bones are still strong,” she said.

“I will toyi-toyi and celebrate Madiba’s life until he is buried on Sunday. He deserves more than that from us,” Medupe added.

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