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Public urged to pay respects to Madiba

Govt has released info on how the public can view Mandela's body at the Union Buildings.

Madiba’s remains will lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria between 11 and 13 December. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has released new information about how the public will be able to view Nelson Mandela's body at the Union Buildings next week.

Madiba passed away peacefully shortly before 9pm on Thursday evening at his Houghton home in Johannesburg.

On Friday, President Jacob Zuma declared a period of mourning ahead of Mandela's funeral in Qunu on 15 December, with tomorrow set aside as a day of prayer and reflection.

Between 11 and 13 December, Madiba's remains will lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Government says Mandela's body will be transported each day between 1 Military Hospital, where his remains are being kept, and the Union Buildings.

Each day, the route and times of the convoy which carries the coffin will be made public.

South Africans are being urged to gather on the sides of the road in Pretoria to pay their respects.

Thousands will also hope to be bussed inside the Union Buildings for a chance to walk past the coffin.

Government spokeswoman Phumla Williams thanked the nation for the way they have celebrated Madiba's life so far.

"The respect that they have given this event leaves me in no doubt that I am in the right country with the right people. South Africans are great."

An official memorial service is also expected to take place at FNB Stadium in Nasrec on 10 December.

The stadium, built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, can hold around 90,000 people.

Madiba made his last official public appearance there for the tournament final on 11 July 2010.

Parliament will also hold a special joint sitting to pay tribute to Mandela.

While the date has yet to be confirmed, it's expected to take place early next week.

Meanwhile, streams of people continue to arrive outside Madiba's Houghton home, his former Soweto home and at Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton City to pay their respects to the global icon.

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