Tension high as Mandela’s wake draws to a close

Pretoria, South Africa (PANA) - Tension is running high in Pretoria on Friday afternoon as the public wake for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela draws to a close and thousands of people remain on the queue to get a final glimpse of the global icon.

Police have been sent to park-and-ride facilities, which were set up to ensure as many people as possible could make their way to the Union Buildings, where Mandela will lie in state until the end of the afternoon.

All buses ferrying passengers have now been stopped, but there is still an enormous line snaking towards the seat of government.

Many walked up to 10 kilometres in the early hours of Friday morning to ensure they would not miss out on the historic occasion.

Organisers estimate that 42,000 people joined the queues on Friday alone, with many others completing the journey on Wednesday and Thursday.

On Saturday morning, Mandela’s remains will be flown to Qunu, where a state funeral will take place on Sunday in the rural area where he was raised.

At least 5,000 people, including foreign dignitaries and royalty, are expected to attend the funeral.

At the family's request, the burial will be a private affair with no cameras allowed.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 13Dec2013

13 december 2013 13:06:23

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