Honouring Mandela - Day 8: As it happened PART 1

2013-12-13 06:55

Get all the latest details as the people continue to honour Nelson Mandela.


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Last Updated at 22:55
Nelson Mandela’s body will lie in state for a third and final day on Friday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane estimates that about 50 000 people have already viewed the former president’s body.

Thousands of people have spent hours standing in queues just for a few seconds to view Mandela’s body.

The body has been transported since Wednesday from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings.

Meanwhile, preparations are continuing in Qunu in the Eastern Cape for Madiba’s funeral.

- Are you at the Union Buildings or anywhere else where Mandela is being commemorated? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

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15:32 - On Saturday 14 December the ANC will conduct an official send off ceremony at the Waterkloof Military Airbase in honour of its former president Nelson Mandela.

The send off ceremony will precede the departure of Mandela's body to Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

President Jacob Zuma and leaders of the Alliance will deliver tribute speeches on the life and legacy of Madiba.

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13:50 - People refuse to leave park-and-ride facilities

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12:43 - There is a very strong police and military contingency here in Qunu - helicopters, fighter planes, army vehicles, Jacaranda FM.

12:41 - 

12:36 - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has just arrived at the Mthatha airport to inspect facilities, says EWN reporter Govan Whittles.

12:29 - 

12:28 - Some people are in tears after learning that they might not get to see Madiba lying in state. 

12:25 - All park and ride facilities in the city have been closed, the City of Tshwane says.

12:17 - The number of people in queues at park and ride facilities has swelled to 92 000, government says. When the figure was at 50 000, government said it was unlikely they'd all get to see Mandela's body...

12:15 - Preparations for the state funeral of Mandela are proceeding well, the SA National Defence Force says. 

12:08 - 

11:51 - Please note: Government has advised that viewing times of Mandela's body will NOT be extended.

11:50 - GCIS: Some of the proceedings are private that not even the SABC will have access to.

11:47 - Lester Kiewit at the Qunu briefing tweets: 3 points of entry onto the Madiba's Farm. Traffic officers won't allow access. "Do not even attempt to go there" - GCIS

11:46 - This photo was sent to us earlier by News24 user Llewellyn York. It’s a picture of a gentleman in the crowd at the LC De Villiers park and ride who looks like Madiba. He was being driven around on a quad bike by policewoman. 

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11:40 - 

11:35 - A sombre atmosphere has prevailed at the Union Buildings as thousands of people viewed the body of Madiba lying in state for the third and final day. 

11:32 - A police general has stressed that journalists in Qunu must obey demarcated areas.

11:31 - President Jacob Zuma had authorised the employment of 11 894 members of the SA National Defence Force for service in co-operation with the SA Police Service to maintain law and order during Nelson Mandela’s funeral service.

11:26 - Only SABC will have access on the farm. They will provide pool footage for all broadcasters.

11:24 - Only two foreign correspondents (writers and photographers) allowed at funeral area. Two local media (scribes and photographers) allowed on farm. 

11:23 - Over 4 000 journalists accredited for the events surrounding the memorial and funeral of Nelson Mandela.

11:23 - GCIS: The Mandela farm is off limits to media. 

11:22 - East London Airport to be used for dignitaries. Mthatha Airport to be used for the arrival of Mandela's body.

11:21 - GCIS technical briefing on events in Qunu. State Security, Saps, GCIS, here, tweets eNCA's Lester Kiewet

11:20 - 

11:18 - 

11:15 - Oh, cinemas will also be closed on Sunday morning for the duration of the funeral. If you were planning to go see a flick at 08:00 on a Sunday...

11:13 - His Majesty King Zwelonke Sigcawu of the amaXhosa will address media at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu after midday, says Jacaranda FM.

11:11 - Make sure you know which stores are keeping their doors shut this Sunday. Pick n Pay isn't one of them.

11:09 - And then of course, The New Age tweets...

11:07 - Of course the government briefing either hasn't started (which is likely) or it's not being broadcast on TV and no reporters are tweeting about the briefing (which is much less likely).

11:04 - 

11:00 - A large group of Cameroonians living in South Africa is paying tribute to Madiba outside his Houghton home, SABC News Online has tweeted.

10:56 - A government briefing on arrangements for the funeral is set to start in a minute or two. 

10:55 - 

10:54 - The Reverend Jesse Jackson just viewed the body. He got to stand and look at the body for a few seconds more than other members of the public. Doesn't seem very fair but anyway...

10:36 - Govt also can't guarantee that those presently in queues will get to see the body. 

10:35 - Statement just out from GCIS to say park and ride facilities to Union Buildings are full, so please stop coming.

10:28 - There are currently 50 000 people in various queues. They will not all be able to go in, tweets Pretoria radio station Power FM.

10:27 - Govt spokesperson Phumla Williams has asked people to stop trying to go to the Union Buildings.

10:23 - News24 user Chuma Qamba Madyibi says: "We saw Mr Mandela on Thursday at 15:25. He looked handsome and peaceful. May God bless his soul."

10:17 - News24 user Tics sent us this email and photo about his experience going to view Mandela's body: 

"The major cause of the frustration and delays is through the logistics. Bussing people in and out is the fundamental flaw in this entire process. Inside everything is streamlined and moves like clock work. I was in the grounds from six thirty and out at eight forty but I'm still in the queue waiting for the busses to take us out of Pretoria.

On a positive note, my friend and I drove in last night from Durban, KZN. Twelve hour return trip for a viewing of ten seconds. The highlight of my life!"

10:16 - We expect the whole funeral process on Sunday to be concluded by 12, says Williams.

10:14 - There will be a public guard of honour from the airport to the house in Qunu.

10:13 - We expect the departure of the plane carrying Mandela’s body to take place between 09:00-10:00, says Williams. Family members will be on board the plane.

10:12 - The South African flag on the casket will be replaced by an ANC flag after government hands the body over to the ANC.

10:10 - Mandela’s body will be taken from the 1 Military Hospital to Waterkloof Airbase on Saturday at 08:00, government spokesperson Phumla Williams has told Jacaranda News FM

9:45 - Arrangements have been made to transport people from all parts of the province to a memorial service at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium, tweets The New Age.

9:31 - At least 5 000 people, including foreign dignitaries and senior political figures, are expected to attend Sunday's funeral.

9:28 - See five photos that Channel24 says shows how much we love Tata Madiba.

9:26 - Nelson Mandela "drew his last breath and just rested", his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela says.

9:25 - Thousands of people have sung and danced as they lined the streets in Pretoria to bid a final farewell to former president Nelson Mandela who lies in state for the last day at the Union buildings.

9:17 - BREAKING: Nelson Mandela's funeral will start at 08:00 on Sunday. It will be two hours long. 

9:04 - 

9:02 - Oprah Winfrey will also attend the funeral in Qunu.

9:01 - His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho and His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales will join about 10 heads of state and government in Qunu, says international relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

9:00 - Mandla is still guarding his grandfather's coffin. As he stood there he looked drained and somewhat lost, says Carien du Plessis.

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8:48 - GCIS also says that the last part of the funeral won't be televised because that's for family only. 

8:47 - So government hasn't announced yet what time Mandela's funeral will be on Sunday, GCIS says. It will probably only be announced on Saturday sometime. 

8:42 - Just filed past Madiba's coffin. It's as if the life was sapped out of me the moment I saw him. Reality hit home like a punch in the tummy, says Carien du Plessis.

8:29 - The Mandela film has received three Golden Globe nominations, including one for best actor.

8:26 - I wondered what the wheelchairs were for, now I know. As elderly women break down after viewing Madiba they are helped onto them, says eNCA anchor Iman Rappetti at the Union Buildings.

8:21 - Have you seen Thabo Mbeki's poem he wrote to Madiba when he stepped down as president in 1999? It's beautiful and quite relevant now. Khaya Dlanga posted it on his page. 

8:05 - People are now filing past the coffin. 

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7:55 - It’s not even 08:00, and people are being turned away from the Park and Ride. Stricter crowd control today, says Gus Silber.

7:55 - There is silence as Madiba's body is placed in the amphitheatre.

7:49 - The coffin is being led up the steps to the amphitheatre.

7:48 - Nkosi Sikelela plays as Madiba's body is led into the amphitheatre through a military guard of honor at Union Buildings.

7:48 - 

7:47 - And the SANDF band plays... The hearse's back door is open, showing the coffin.

7:46 - 

7:43 - 

7:41 - The cortege has arrived at the Union Buildings.

7:40 - 

7:39 - Chabane also appealed to people who will be turned away to accept it with dignity.

7:37 - Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane has warned mourners going to the Union Buildings that the cut off time of 17:30 on Friday afternoon will not be extended.

7:35 - Quite a sight to see the helicopters hovering over the city, looking out from the Union Buildings - Alex Eliseev.

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7:33 - Mandela was the best dressed Wits student, says George Bizos.

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7:27 - 

7:24 - People are lining the streets by the Union Buildings as a guard of honour for the Mandela procession expected shortly. A group of women are singing loudly. - Carien du Plessis.

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7:14 -  There are hundreds of people here to say goodbye to Mandela. Much more than other mornings, says SABC reporter Leila Magnus.

7:13 - 

7:12 - The Mandela cortege has left the 1 Military Hospital headed to the Union Buildings where Madiba will lie in state for the final day says The New Age.

7:09 - The crowd here on Madiba street is growing by the minute - while posters bearing Madiba's picture are being handed out.

7:08 - 

7:07 - The former president's body will be moved to Qunu on Saturday where preparations will begin for his funeral on Sunday.

7:05 - The Mandela family at 1 Military are preparing to leave for the last morning trip to Union Buildings.

7:03 - You can hear the crowds from streets below. Sirens bellow in the distance, says EWN's Aliex Eliseev in Pretoria.

7:01 - Almost 30 buses are already at the Hatfield Park and Ride facility to take mourners to the Union Buildings.

7:01 - 

6:59 - The metro police have gathered in formation at the entrance to 1 Military. A SAAF chopper is circling overhead.

6:58 - 

6:57 - Long queues have been forming around the Union Buildings since after 04:00 for the last day of Mandela's body lying in state, says City Press's Carien du Plessis.

6:54 - 

6:53 - A shrine of flowers and photos has formed opposite the entrance to the Union Buildings.

6:52 - The Mandela procession is just minutes away from making its final trip from 1 Military Hospital to the Union Buildings. It's set to start at 07:00. 

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