Madiba lies in state for a second day
It's been a week since former president Nelson Mandela died at his Houghton home at the age of 95.
PRETORIA - Former president Nelson Mandela's body has left the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria and the cortege is en-route to the Union Buildings where he will lie in state for a second day.
It's been a week since the global icon passed away peacefully at his Houghton home at the age of 95.
Civilian staff at 1 Military Hospital greeted Mandela with song while military health services personnel saluted the cortege as it passed.
Nine Tshwane Metro Police officers and 15 military police in full dress uniform led the hearse out of the facility.
Mandela's casket, which is draped in the South African flag, is visible in the back of the black hearse.
The procession is heading to the Union Buildings via Kgosi Mampuru and Madiba Streets which are lined with thousands of people.
Two air force Oryx Helicopters are following the procession from above.
Meanwhile, members of the military, navy and air force and police officers are waiting for the coffin at the Union Buildings.
They have lined up in single-file, dressed smartly in their uniforms, forming a guard of honour.
The coffin will be taken to the Nelson Mandela amphitheatre where members of the public will be able to view Mandela's body.
There's a marching band and several people waiting to catch a glimpse of the coffin.
It's expected to be another day filled with emotion as people get an opportunity to say goodbye to the father of the nation.
The global icon is dressed in one of his famous shirts, this one in yellow and black prints.
No one is allowed to take pictures of Madiba once inside the structure.
Members of the public will be able to see the body and pay their last respects between 8am and 5pm until tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Fountains Valley park-and-ride facility in Pretoria was reopened this morning after it was cancelled by officials late last night.
The City of Tshwane's Selby Bokaba said the facility had initially been closed because a police scanner wasn't working, meaning members of the public could not be security checked.
But the city had this morning replaced the old scanner with another one.
Other park-and-ride facilities include the Tshwane Events Centre and LC De Villiers.
THOUSANDS LINE THE STREETS
Yesterday was an emotional and overwhelming first day at the Union Buildings.
Several dignitaries and government officials including President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, former president Thabo Mbeki and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe joined the Mandela family at the Union Buildings to say goodbye to Madiba.
Thousands of South Africans lined up, waiting for the VIPs to finish their visit so they could also pay their last respects to the father of the nation.
The traffic-free zone around the Union Buildings took on a celebratory atmosphere as people gathered to pay their respects to Madiba.
The crowd of people cheered and sang songs as the convoy went by and some motorists abandoned their cars to come witness the historical moment, causing substantial traffic in the Pretoria CBD.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said although the public can head to Qunu to be in the area for Madiba's funeral, they won't be able to get close to the formal gathering.
He said he understands why people would want travel there, but logistically, only invited guests and family can be accommodated.