The decision not to give the people of the Eastern Cape an opportunity to view the body of former President Nelson Mandela has not gone down well with locals. They say they should have been given a chance because they won’t be even allowed to attend the funeral.
More than 40-thousand people are expected to converge on the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth for the Eastern Cape memorial service for Nelson Mandela.
The province says it’s all systems go for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in his birthplace province before the funeral on Sunday. This is expected to be a special event as Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is the only municipality named after this former statesman.
In Pretoria, thousands of mourners who could not make it to the Union Buildings have vented their frustration. They blamed the lack of proper planning by the ruling party and officials involved.
Some of them say they were here in the early hours of this morning but they could not even get on the bus to the Union Buildings. They have called on officials to deploy more buses so that everyone could be able to view Mandela’s body on Friday.
Most at the Tshwane Events Centre say after trying for the second time they are not coming back on Friday because they came as far as Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo.
Meanwhile, the body of former President Nelson Mandela is being transported back to One Military Hospital in Pretoria after a second day of lying in state.
Tshwane Metro police have cordoned off a huge area in front of the hospital.
Thousands of people have viewed the body since midday on Wednesday. Viewing of Madiba lying in state will take place for the last time on Friday from 8am to 5pm.
There have been reports of some problems at the park and ride facilities from where people are transported to the Union Buildings. Mourners had been told to make their way to the Pretoria Show Grounds, the LC de Villiers Sports Grounds, or the Fountains Valley resort.