Park-and-ride facilities closed

2013-12-13 12:12
(Markus Schreiber, AFP)

(Markus Schreiber, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Park-and-ride arrangements to take people to the Union Buildings to view Nelson Mandela's body in Pretoria were cancelled by mid-morning on Friday.

"The park-and-ride facilities are full and closing now," said government communications chief policy and research director Tasneem Carrim just before 11:00.

She said, officials would do their utmost to accommodate people already at the Union Buildings for the third and final day in which the former president's body would lie in state, but added, "there are just so many hours in a day".

Carrim said estimates suggested two people were viewing the body every three seconds, but it appeared the lines were moving even faster on Friday.

By 07:30, 25 000 people had gathered at the Pretoria Showgrounds, 10 000 at the Fountains Valley Circle, 8000 at the Union Buildings and 7000 at the LC de Villiers Sports Centre.

"Everyone hopes for a personal chance to say goodbye, but it's not always possible," said Carrim.

She urged people to attend other memorial services or watch proceedings on television.

As the facilities closed, thousands of people nevertheless continued to queue along the streets of Pretoria.

After lying in state on Friday, Mandela's body will be transported to his boyhood village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape. His state funeral will take place on Sunday.

Mandela died last week on Thursday at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, aged 95.

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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