Waiting to see Mandela

FILE PICTURE: 'Ouma Joey' waits on the side of the road to watch the arrival of the car carrying the coffin of former President Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, 12 December 2013. Mandela will lie in state for the second day follwing his passing a week ago. 2000 people per hour are expected to pay their last respects. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Nelson Mandela’s second day lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria started very early for some.

Ouma Joey, as she told everyone to call her, had been waiting on Madiba street since 3am. By 5am the line of people started to grow and at 6am the soldiers took there positions along the street to form the guard of honour.

Police and SANDF members on the ground said that the morning had gone smoothly so far but that they were many more people today to make their way to the Union Buildings to pay their last respects.

Members of the public gathering on Madiba Street were allowed access to the Office of the Presidency through a security checkpoint before making the steep climb to the viewing site. Some of the sick and elderly were assisted by SAPS to join the line so that they too could say goodbye to Tata Madiba.

The public arriving from park and ride points were bused to meet the queue just below the level of the viewing site.

Access from the Fountains Valley park and ride was delayed this mornings but reportedly got underway shortly after eight.

Preparation for the site of the newest statue of Mandela was also underway at the Union Buildings but it is not clear yet when the statue will be unveiled.

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