Mourners flock to see Madiba’s body
Large numbers of people are saying their final goodbyes to Mandela at the Union Buildings.
PRETORIA - The celebration in the streets surrounding the Union Buildings has quietened down considerably as members of the public enter the venue to view the body of former president Nelson Mandela.
Madiba passed away at his Houghton home last week at the age of 95 and his body is now lying in state at the seat of government.
Until Friday, members of the public will still be able to see the body and pay their last respects between 8am and 5pm.
As requested by government, large numbers of people lined the route taken by the procession between 1 Military Hospital and the Union Buildings, forming a guard of honour.
People lined up for the procession bearing former president Nelson Mandela's body headed to the Union Buildings. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.
A glass shield is protecting Mandela's body and people are given just a few seconds to see him and say their goodbyes in their own way.
The global icon is dressed in one of his famous shirts, this one in yellow and black prints.
For some, the moment was too overwhelming and they now say they want to queue again.
People wearing ANC T-shirts and others still in their work uniforms are all there to see the father of the nation one last time.
For some, it is the first and the last time they will ever be this close to the man who changed South Africa.
The body of former president Nelson Mandela arriving at the Union Buildings. Picture: Sapa.
His grandson Ndaba described seeing the coffin as a sad moment.
He spoke to Eyewitness News after joining other dignitaries in walking past the casket in the newly renamed Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre.
Ndaba says his family is filled with pride following Tuesday's memorial service and is pleased to know they are not alone in their grief.
"He's been sick for months and I think we all knew the inevitable would happen, we just didn't know when. It's time to celebrate a great life and the inspiration he gave us. I just hope that current leaders of the world, especially Africa, can take at least one lesson from our grandfather."
He encouraged people not to just walk past the coffin but to take a moment to reflect on Madiba's life and legacy.