Mandela Memorial build-up - as it happened

2013-12-10 06:56

Get all the details from the build-up to proceedings as South Africans and international dignitaries prepared to say goodbye to Madiba.


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Last Updated at 05:42
Tens of thousands of South Africans and more than 90 world leaders will gather at FNB stadium in Soweto on Tuesday for a massive four-hour memorial service to Nelson Mandela.

People have already started pouring into the stadium as the gates were opened early on Tuesday morning for the 11:00 event.

Among the leaders set to speak are US President Barack Obama and UN secretary general Ban ki-moon.

Roads around the stadium have been closed and the memorial will be broadcast on big screens around the country.

To continue following coverage, follow more live updates here

- Are you there? Send us your photos

10:30 - Metrorail's Lilian Mofokeng told News24 that there is a half an hour delay in trains. Safety issue she says.

10:28 - Indeed.

10:27 - 

10:24 - Charlize and Bono are also there. 

10:22 - Here's a better picture of Graca: 

10:22 - 

10:20 - We'll be moving to new live updates at 10:30 for coverage of the actual event. Will add the link to these updates as soon as it goes live. 

10:18 - UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, former US president Jimmy Carter, former presidents FW de Klerk and Thabo Mbeki, Kofi Annan and numerous other dignitaries have all arrived at FNB Stadium.

10:16 - 

10:10 - 

10:09 - President Jacob Zuma has also just arrived.

10:03 - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has arrived at the stadium.

9:59 - News24's Nielen de Klerk sent us this beautiful photo from the stadium: 

9:54 - Again, if you're still on your way to FNB Stadium, dress warmly and take a raincoat or umbrella. 

9:52 - Cameron: I came to South Africa to meet Madiba, I was particularly impressed by his sense of grace... In London I was fortunate to go and see him when he made a speech... I took my children.

9:51 - Cameron: The legacy of Madiba brought the country together.

9:50 - David Cameron to eNCA: "[Mandela was] a remarkable man."

9:49 - "Welcome. You are all welcome!" blared the loudspeaker as the train door opened, disgorging hundreds of mourners onto a platform as they make their way to the memorial.

9:44 - Seems like the buses have arrived. More people filing into top pavilion now, says EWN's Govan Whittles.

9:43 - 

9:41 -  Reports of trains being stuck en route to FNB Stadium. Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

9:25 - 

9:23 - All security plans are in place for the event, says the police ministry.

9:20 - Buses have reportedly failed to arrive to take people to the FNB Stadium event.

9:19 - 

9:17 - Meanwhile, very few people have turned up at Ellis Park.

9:16 - The crowd is singing "Mandela, my president".

9:15 - 

9:14 - 

9:12 - Former Springbok captain, current captain Jean de Villiers and other Springbok players have also arrived at the stadium.

9:11 - UK Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived at FNB Stadium.

9:06 - 

9:02 - Not sure if you've seen this but it's certainly something special: A flash mob by the Soweto Gospel Choir paid tribute to South Africa’s hero. 

News24 reporter Nielen de Klerk added this video of crowds singing and dancing as they enter FNB Stadium:

8:54 - 

8:52 - 

8:38 - News24 user OJ Tawane sent us this photo inside the stadium: 

8:32 -  Are you at the stadium? Send us your photos

8:30 - Measures have been put in place to ensure safe air travel for mourners, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and Acsa have said.

8:29 -  Alex Eliseev: "Stadium manager Jacques Grobbelaar tells us this is a completely unique event. 35th being held this year."

8:21 - News24 user Andile Zuma took this photo inside the stadium:

8:20 - 

8:16 - "Not a single vuvuzela spotted or heard yet. A sign of respect I guess." - EWN reporter Alex Eliseev.

8:15 - 

8:05 - 

7:56 - News24 journalists Dan Calderwood, Nielen de Klerk and Jerusha Sukhdeo are at the stadium to bring you all the details.

7:56 - 

7:55 - 

7:46 - Paul Simon's You Can Call Me Al just played in the stadium. Sweet. Though it could barely be heard above the loud singing from the crowd. Which is even sweeter.

7:34 - "Minister Thulas Nxesi comes to journo queue for coffee. Pays staff member to jump queue on his behalf, and goes to sit down," tweets Carien du Plessis

7:33 - 

7:30 - Construction workers still busy with the final touches at the bottom of the stage. Plenty of Mandela and ANC regalia on display, tweets EWN reporter Govan Whittles.

7:30 - 

7:28 - All reporters at the stadium say it's filling up fast but the atmosphere is celebratory.

7:21 - 

7:20 - 

7:15 - City Press's Carien du Plessis has some advice: "If you're coming to the Mandela Memorial, dress warm and bring umbrellas and food. Then again, if you're still home you are probably too late.

7:14 -  In initial rush nobody was searched at primary gate K. Fences have now been set up & pat-downs and bag searches are underway, tweeted eNCA's Nickolaus Bauer.

7:10 - All the celebs are expected to be at FNB Stadium too - Charlize Theron, the Spice Girls, Peter Gabriel and others are expected to be there.

7:10 - 

7:04 - 

6:57 - 

6:55 - "Just arrived at FNB stadium. The atmosphere here is amazing. This is a celebration. A celebration of a life well lived." - Emelia Motsai.

6:52 - CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour tweeted earlier: "Greeted at Jo'burg airport immigration with 'thank you for coming to honor Mr Mandela'."

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