Mourning Mandela, Day 6 - as it happened

2013-12-11 06:58

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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.

A memorial service was held for Madiba on Tuesday at FNB Stadium in Soweto where various leaders, including US President Barack Obama, Cuban President Raul Castro and SA President Jacob Zuma spoke to the crowd.

People had waited for hours for the event to start, with many queuing from Monday night

- Are you at the Union Building? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

14:23 - 

13:52 - The photographer who took a photo of US President Barack Obama and others explains "that selfie".

13:41 - 

13:41 - The lunch is for visiting heads of state and the diplomatic corps to pay tribute to Madiba.

13:40 -  President Zuma is hosting a VIP lunch at the OR Tambo building in Pretoria.

13:39 - 

13:29 - 

13:27 - 

13:13 - 

13:11 - 

13:06 - Mandela is wearing a black and golden Madiba shirt, Dan Calderwood and Jerusha Sukhdeo.

13:02 - Nelson Mandela looks peaceful - Dan Calderwood.

13:01 - You only have a second or two to pay your respects to Mandela, says News24's Dan Calderwood who is at the union Buildings.

13:00 - 

12:49 - 

12:44 - 

12:41 - There is a glass pane over Nelson Mandela's coffin, allowing world leaders and mourners to look once more on the anti-apartheid icon, says AP's Jon Gambrell.

12:37 - 

12:34 - Clicks has also announced that, like Woolworths, it will not open its stores on Sunday.

12:32 - Bus resounds with hearty chorus of "Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela. Ha hona ya tshwanang le wena, ha hona ya tshwanang le wena", tweets David Smith.

12:25 - Cries of "Amandla!" and "Viva Nelson Mandela, viva!" and foot stomping as bus snakes through central Pretoria, tweets The Guardian's David Smith.

12:22 - Have you seen this? Zapiro's flabbergasted reaction to the booing that Zuma got on Tuesday.

12:21 - 

12:18 - Dangerous items, cameras with detachable lenses, umbrellas, strollers, helmets and video cameras will not be allowed into Cape Town Stadium, the City says.

12:16 - So it's official: UK singer Annie Lennox will be performing at the Cape Town event for Mandela. The City of Cape Town has just confirmed it.

12:13 - Ndaba: This is a time to celebrate a great life. He was sick for months and we knew it was inevitable.

12:06 -  Phiyega stopped, saluted, dropped her head for a moment and walked on.

12:03 - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega is at the Union Buildings.

12:01 - 

11:58 - Phumla Williams also told the radio station with regards to the bogus interpreter: We are trying to establish who procured the interpreter.

11:56 - Mandla: Most of my family has gone down to Qunu today [Wednesday], the rest will follow in the next few days.

11:55 - Mandla also told Jacaranda FM: Just two seconds. Turn your body and look at it and then keep on walking.

11:52 - And earlier on Wednesday, women were seen suntanning on a lawn at the Hatfield park and ride centre in Pretoria while waiting for transport to the Union Buildings.

11:48 - In other news, Woolworths announced it will be closing its doors on Sunday as a mark of respect for Mandela's funeral.

11:46 - Ndaba told Jacaranda FM: The body is a bit distorted at first so you have to take a second to get a good look and take it in.

11:44 - Ndaba Mandela, Madiba's grandson, has urged mourners to take a second when viewing Tata's body to get a clearer view, Jacaranda FM has tweeted. 

11:41 - Park-n-ride facilities are available at the Tshwane Events Centre; LC De Villiers Sports Facility in Hatfield and Fountains Valley Park.

11:40 - Access to view the body will be restricted to people in city buses only, the Tshwane Municipality. 

11:38 - The Tshwane Municipality has asked people not to walk to the Union Buildings but to make use of the park and ride facility.

11:36 - 

11:33 - Zelda la Grange is there.

11:32 - FW de Klerk's wife Elita was seen wiping her eyes after viewing Mandela's body.

11:30 - Bono is there too.

11:28 - There's now a long queue of people waiting to view Mandela's body.

11:27 - Dignitaries are queuing up to view the body. They line up, view the body (many do a little bow), then walk on.

11:22 - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has just arrived.

11:20 - Most people are dressed in black. As expected.

11:19 - Kenneth Kauna, Kgalema Motlanthe are there. 

11:17 - Oh right. So pretty much everyone is at the Union Buildings now. Zuma, Mbeki, the Mandelas, dignitaries. Just... everyone. 

11:17 - 

11:15 - Thabo Mbeki is there too.

11:15 - 

11:10 - Sorry, to correct previous update, the Mandelas are actually only viewing the body now.

10:52 - Government says it is aware of complaints about the interpreter at Tuesday's memorial event and will respond soon. 

10:44 - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and her daughter Zindzi have emerged from a car, dressed in black.

10:41 - The City of Cape Town’s Parks Department will host a tree-planting ceremony on Thursday at Tambo Village, Green Belt, Gugulethu, Mandela Park, Khayelitsha, McKenzie Street Park, Cape Town CBD , Nantes Park, Athlone, Makana Street, Langa. The project is set to start at 17:00.

10:40 - 

10:35 - 

10:29 - Watch a video from News24's Jerusha Sukhdeo showing the Mandela procession arriving at the union Buildings: 

10:27 - 

10:26 - Cyril Ramaphosa has just arrived at the Union buildings.

10:17 - Interpreter Sarah-Jane Moloney put up this video on her Twitter page. She says it shows the interpreter at Tuesday's service doing repetitive signing.


10:10 - Mangosuthu Buthelezi is now inside the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.

10:10 - The National Executive Committee of the ANC will be viewing the body at 11:30.

10:04 - News24's crew in Pretoria Dan, Nielen and Jerusha, hard at work.

9:58 - Soldiers have been instructed to throw people out if they attempt to take their cellphones from their bags while inside the Union Buildings. You have been warned. 

9:57 - 

9:53 - Wits University says it will host a memorial service on Thursday at 17:00 at the Wits Great Hall. George Bizos, Ahmed Kathrada and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke will be there so it's something not to be missed.

9:52 - 

9:51 - A massive tent has been set up in Qunu for Madiba's funeral.

9:43 - President Jacob Zuma has also just arrived at the Union Buildings. 

9:42 - The Mandela family has arrived at the Union Buildings.

9:37 - There's also a bit of a scandal surrounding the interpreter at Tuesday's memorial. Angry deaf South Africans who were watching the event say he was not signing correctly.

9:36 - A Democratic Alliance delegation with leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Mmusi Maimane and Wilmot James are at the Union Buildings.

9:32 - Not sure if you've seen this but it's another lovely Zapiro cartoon on Madiba:

9:30 - 

9:27 - People will be given plastic packets to put their cellphones in when going to view Mandela's body, City Press reporter Zinhle Mapumulo says.

9:14 - Are you going to the Cape Town memorial?  Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

9:05 - The final arrangements for Cape Town event at 16:00 on Wednesday have been released. If you're in the city, there are also some details about road closures you need to know. It's probably best to use public transport (which is free for all those travelling to CT Stadium). Get all the details here

9:03 - Helicopters are still circling the Union Buildings.

9:01 - 

8:47 -

8:44 - Francois Pienaar speaks to John Robbie about attending Nelson Mandela's memorial. Listen:

8:36 - Meanwhile, while it seems that everyone who was anyone was at the memorial on Tuesday, one person did miss out... 

8:27 - So only family and VIPs will be allowed to view the body until12:00 on Wednesday. Thereafter, it will be open to the public. And just another reminder, members of the public are NOT allowed to take photos or videos of Mandela's body.

8:25 - 

8:24 - 

8:18 - Take a look at a video from News24's Nielen de Klerk of a crowd singing outside the Union Buildings: 

8:15 - A traditional ceremony with the Elders is happening now to prepare Mandela's body. Then family will view his body alone for two hours, says CBS's Sarah Carter.

8:12 - Mandla Mandela is now leaving the Union Buildings.

8:11 - See some of the photos taken by News24's team outside the Union Buildings.

8:09 - The coffin in itself will allow people to view Nelson Mandela's face and part of his upper body, according to Jacaranda FM.

8:08 - Also, people are not allowed to take pictures of Mandela's body in state. 

8:06 - 

8:05 - 

8:03 - People will not be allowed to view Mandela's body more than once, according to City Press reporter Zinhle Mapulo.

8:00 - 

7:59 - 

7:55 - The coffin is now being taken up the stairs to the amphitheatre. The Mandelas are following the officials.

7:55 - Military officials are now taking the coffin from the hearse.

7:53 - The SANDF band is now playing the national anthem.

7:52 - Military officials make their way towards the coffin.

7:51 - Top military officials are also standing near the hearse. 

7:50 - Mandla Mandela is standing alongside the hearse.

7:47 - The back of the hearse is now open.

7:47 - 

7:46 - Mandela's body has arrived at the Union Buildings.

7:45 - Take a look at a flyover of the route Madiba's body is taking.

7:44 - 

7:42 - The amphitheatre, where Mandela delivered his inaugural speech in 1994, has been renamed Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.

7:41 - There is now a hush over the Union Buildings amphitheatre where Madiba's body will lie in state.

7:40 - Helicopters getting louder, says News24's Dan Calderwood. The processions is getting closer, he says.

7:39 - 

7:38 - 

7:37 - 

7:36 - 

7:33 - 

7:32 - 

7:31 - 

7:30 - Mandela's grandson, Mandla and other male members of the family, according to custom, are accompanying the body. 

7:29 - People on the street in Pretoria are saluting Madiba's passing coffin with a raised fist. But crowds seem sparse, says the New York Times's Lydia Polgreen.

7:27 - Thousands of people on the street now. Down the road singing and vuvuzelas can be heard, says an EWN reporter

7:26 - The family has chosen the hearse which is transporting Mandela's body. 

7:25 - Motorcycles are leading the procession.

7:24 - A coffin can be seen in the back of a long black funeral car. The coffin is covered in a South African flag.

7:22 - A line of soldiers can be seen waiting for Madiba's casket to go through the street. 

7:21 - Lots of people lining procession route.

7:20 - 

7:19 - 

7:13 - 

7:12 - Several people along the route in Pretoria declining to be questioned, saying they were supposed to be at work, AFP's Andrew Beatty.

7:05 - People on the route are singing "Mandela there is no one like you".

7:04 - Members of the police force and military have lined up to give Madiba a guard of honour.

7:03 - An Oryx helicopter can now be seen circling over 1 Military.

7:02 - 

7:01 - 

7:00 - A VIP blue light convoy entered the hospital about five minutes ago. No idea who it is, tweets EWN's Barry Bateman.

6:59 - A crowd of people and media have gathered across the road from the entrance to 1 Military.

6:56 - Defence force personnel and hospital staff prepare for the procession to start. Mandela's casket to leave 1 Military Hospital and be driven to Union Buildings where he will lie in state.

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