Singing and dancing for Madiba

2013-12-10 07:44
Stands fill up as people stream into FNB stadium for the Nelson Mandela memorial service. (Thrishni via Twitter)

Stands fill up as people stream into FNB stadium for the Nelson Mandela memorial service. (Thrishni via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - People danced, sang struggle songs, and ululated as they filed into the FNB Stadium, south of Johannesburg, for former president Nelson Mandela's official memorial service on Tuesday.

A group of Hare Krishnas clanged cymbals as others around them whistled and clapped.

The gloomy weather did not deter South Africans from going to the stadium in Soweto to bid farewell to the anti-apartheid icon. The memorial is scheduled to begin at 11:00.

A large stage was erected on one side of the pitch. Workers on scaffolding at the front of it were trying to finish last minute construction.

The foot of the stage was lined with bouquets of flowers. There were three rows of chairs on the stage.

A second, smaller stage was erected alongside. It too was lined with flowers.

A military helicopter flew above the stadium.

Security officials in reflector vests stood with umbrellas around the pitch.

Mandela died surrounded by family at his Houghton, Johannesburg, home on Thursday at the age of 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 Remembered.co.za.

- Share your memories of Nelson Mandela with us.

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