13 December 2013

South Africa: Madiba Makes His Final Public Appearance

Thousands of mourners, many dressed in South African and ANC colours, have this morning lined the streets between 1 Military Hospital and the Union Buildings to ensure they witness the late former President Nelson Mandela's cortege passing by.

Members of the public were encouraged to gather on the streets to give the struggle icon a fitting send-off.

Madiba's body, transported in a black hearse escorted by South African National Defence Force members, left 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane shortly after 7am and is en route to the Union Buildings.

The procession has been met with some people crying, others saluting, flags waiving and cheers and ululations.

The cortege will make its way down Old Pretoria Road towards the city, where it will join Kgosi Mampuru Road until the intersection of Madiba Street. It will then proceed in an eastern direction towards the Union buildings.

Madiba's body will for the last time lie in state at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre on Thursday.

Members of the public will have from 8am to 5.30pm to make their way to the venue, where they will file past the casket and pay their last respects to the Father of the Nation as he is affectionately known.

The City of Tshwane has once again implemented park-and-ride facilities at the venues, namely Fountains Valley, LC de Villiers Sports Facility and the Tshwane Events Centre. Mourners can queue there to get on a free bus which will take them to the Union Buildings.

The public is advised to get to the facilities early.

Madiba's body with be flown to the Eastern Cape on Saturday, ahead of the state funeral on Sunday.

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