Sea of police, soldiers for Mandela procession

2013-12-11 07:03
Defence force personnel and hospital staff for the procession to start. (Barry Bateman via Twitter)

Defence force personnel and hospital staff for the procession to start. (Barry Bateman via Twitter)

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Pretoria - Hundreds of police officers and soldiers were stationed outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday morning to await the procession bearing former president Nelson Mandela's body.

Soldiers disembarked from buses in front of the Union Buildings lawns and chatted in groups before assembling smartly in neat rows to await the procession.

Police cars of various descriptions, military lorries, and even tanks were visible near the Union Buildings.

Mandela will lie in state for the next three days in Pretoria this week.

The public are allowed to view the body from noon on Wednesday, but only if they use the park and ride facilities provided.

President Jacob Zuma and various dignitaries are expected to pay their respects to Mandela before the public are allowed in.

At 06:00 police greatly outnumbered members of the public ahead of the guard of honour.

The international peace icon died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, at the age of 95 on Thursday.

The official memorial service was held at the FNB Stadium south of Johannesburg on Tuesday, and was attended, among others, by over 100 current and former heads of state and government.

He will be buried in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.

Friends, colleagues, comrades and family of Nelson Mandela are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us.

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