Madiba’s final public appearance

13 December 2013

Thousands of mourners, many dressed in South African colours, lined the streets between 1 Military Hospital and the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday morning to witness Nelson Mandela’s cortege passing by for the last time.

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, arriving at the Union Buildings roughly an hour later.

The procession was met with some people crying, others saluting, flags waving, cheers and ululations.

Madiba’s body will lie in state at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheatre at the Union Buildings for the last time on Friday.

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”.

Mourners can queue at park-and-ride facilities at Fountains Valley, LC de Villiers Sports Facility and the Tshwane Events Centre for a free bus ride 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 his state funeral in his birthplace, Qunu, on Sunday.