Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Photos: South Africans line streets as Nelson Mandela's casket passes

Soldiers carrying Nelson Mandela's casket

Thousands of South Africans lined the streets to see Nelson Mandela's casket draped in a multi-colored South African flag as it was driven through the streets of Pretoria on Wednesday to the seat of government, where the revered peacemaker will lie in state.

Police officers on motorcycle escorted the casket from one Military Hospital outside to Pretoria's Union Buildings, a symbol of the white-dominated government before Mandela came to power. When Mandela took office, he used the building as his offices and the presidency is still located there.

After a two-hour viewing for relatives and dignitaries, mourners will be allowed to file past the casket — up to 2,000 each hour — to pay their respects to the anti-apartheid icon.

To ensure that each person visits the Union Buildings amphitheater only once, their fingers will be marked with the same indelible ink used to identify voters in South African elections, officials said.

As a week of public grieving continues, the government is trying to make sure as many people as possible have a chance to say goodbye to the man who led his nation to democracy after decades of white minority-rule.

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