Transport to Union Buildings reaches capacity

Thousands of people have been queuing in the capital since dawn hoping to pay their last respects.

Navy officers guard the coffin of former president Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 12 December 2013. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Park and ride facilities taking mourners to the Union Buildings to view former president Nelson Mandela lie in state have reached capacity, government announced on Thursday.

Madiba passed away peacefully at his Johannesburg home last Thursday.

Thousands of people have been queuing in the capital since dawn hoping to pay their last respects to the world icon.

Picture: GCIS.

Government spokesperson Terence Seal says the cut-off point has been reached.

"Public viewing of the body of president Mandela finishes at 5.30 in the afternoon. Because of the logistics of moving large numbers of people to the Union Buildings, it takes a couple of hours."

Many people said they've been stuck at facilities for hours.

Others said there were no buses available for them, despite arrive at park and ride facilities at 5:30am.

One man says a woman next to him broke down when she realised she would not be able to see Madiba.

Security personnel have now closed the gates to the LC de Villiers Sports Grounds and are no longer allowing vehicles or pedestrians into the area.

People who have already queued there are still being processed, but it's unlikely all of them will be able to the see the coffin.

Picture: GCIS.

At least 20,000 people have been able to pay their respects to Mandela so far.

Many of them said it was touching to see Madiba dressed in one of his trademark shirts for the last time.

But other people say they've waited up to four hours.

According to one Twitter user, a woman fainted while waiting.

@ewnupdates an old lady has just fainted...while waiting to get inside the UB. #madibaviewing