Chaos outside FNB stadium – reports

A number of people have complained about shoving and pushing outside Madiba’s memorial service.

Crowds of people wait to board Rea Vaya buses following the national memorial service for Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium on 10  December 2013. Picture: Twitter/@Juliusmekwa.

JOHANNESBURG - Serious problems have been reported outside former president Nelson Mandela's national memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Nasrec.

Reports are coming through of masses of commuters breaking through a police barricade and trying to force their way onto Rea Vaya buses.

Speaking on Talk Radio 702, a number of listeners said they've been stuck on the platform for quite some time.

One man says, "People are pushing, they're shoving, there are kids involved."

Another caller said, "We're being pushed like crazy, people are going mad."

Another listener describes the mood there as tense.

"There's more than a thousand people standing at the Rea Vaya bus station just outside FNB [Stadium]. We've been standing here for more than an hour and a half. There's like five buses with no drivers. People are getting really, really agitated. We don't even know where the buses are going, but we're all in the same queue."

The City of Johannesburg's Lisa Seftel encouraged people to be patient.

"We really apologise for what is happening but we really appeal to everybody to be calm and not to push."

She says more drivers are on the way.

"We are really hoping and anticipate that it will not be a disaster. The buses were scheduled to leave at the end of the service," said Seftel.

She said people started lining up before the service ended, causing congestion at the station.

It's believed many people left the stadium after US President Barack Obama's speech, which ended with a standing ovation.

Others left during President Jacob Zuma's key-note address.

Police have deployed extra security to Nasrec station to assess the situation.

Meanwhile, Metrorail says it hasn't experienced any further problems so far as it prepares to drop off commuters following the service.

The journey to the stadium was characterised by heavy delays in the morning.

Metrorail says they are better prepared to deal with the number of commuters leaving.

Two Eyewitness News reporters are also en route to the station and we will bring you more on that developing story as details becoming available.