Mourners taking cellphones to viewing

By Drum Digital
11 December 2013

It's a compulsory request that cellphone by mourners at the viewing be switched off and concealed.

Security officials at the Hatfield park-and-ride centre in Pretoria are allowing mourners to take their cellphones with them to view the body of former president Nelson Mandela, provided they are switched off and concealed.

The government said earlier that no one would be allowed to take photographs or use cellphones while viewing Mandela's body while it lay in state at the Union Buildings.

Comfort Mbeng, who was queuing for transport to the Union Buildings, said it would be difficult for officials to monitor people taking their cellphones with them.

"What are they going to do?" he asked.

"I'm sure everyone here has cellphones. They won't stop us just because we have cellphones."

Mbeng is from Cameroon, but lives in South Africa. She was going with her family to say goodbye to Mandela.

"We just had to come and pay our respects," she said.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night at the age of 95. He will be buried in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.

-by Sapa

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