Cape Town residents from far-flung areas will be ferried to the Grand Parade in the city centre for free to attend a memorial service for Madiba at 5pm today. This morning, Solly Malatsi, spokesperson for the city’s mayor Patricia de Lille, confirmed that Golden Arrow and MyCiTi buses and trains will operate for free between noon and 7pm today. An emotional crowd poured into the city’s Civic Centre to hear De Lille voice her condolences at 9am. The mayor was flanked by storey-spanning photographs of Madiba, part of an exhibition to honour his life. She wiped away tears: “It’s very hard to say goodbye ...” “Our city has a special relationship with Madiba. To our country’s shame, it was the place where he was imprisoned,” said De Lille. Nearby, at the Cape Sun in Strand Street, flags were flying at half-mast. In Adderley Street, Fatiema Gamaldien, who has sold flowers for the past 50 years, said the former president meant a lot to her and to the other flower sellers. “I don’t care for the ANC and that sort of politics, but Madiba was the best president we’ve ever had,” said Gamaldien.