Thousands visit Mandela Centre

Around 12,000 people have visited the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory over the past few days.

Around 12,000 people have visited the Houghton centre over the past few days. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory on Tuesday said visitor numbers increased dramatically since former president Nelson Mandela's death.

He passed away at his Johannesburg home at the age of 95 on Thursday evening.

Around 12,000 people have paid a visit to the centre since news broke.

The Houghton facility is a big attraction in Johannesburg.

It clearly documents the various stages of the global icon's life from political prisoner to president.

While many visitors want to see the office he enjoyed spending time in, others are able to view old newspaper articles, photographs and handwritten notes that were smuggled into Robben Island.

One Swedish woman who has been living in the county for some time told Eyewitness News she is in awe every time she pays a visit to the centre.

Meanwhile, the official national memorial service for the global icon is underway at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Several speakers, including US President Barack Obama, have already made their speeches.

Obama received a standing ovation for his powerful tribute to Mandela and South Africa.

#Mandela Standing ovation for Obama.

#Mandela Some people are leaving after Obama's speech.