Mandela lies in state

South Africans are queuing in their thousands to view the body of former President Nelson Mandela as he lies in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The Mandela family and VVIPs started viewing the body from 10am and the public has now been given a chance to pay their respects. They will file past the body until 5.30pm.

Mandela's body lay in a half-open coffin in a large marquee draped in white cloth which is surrounded by army and navy personnel.

He is dressed in one of his trademark black and gold shirts.

Earlier in the day, his coffin was taken in procession from the 1 Military Hospital mortuary to the Union Buildings.

This will happen again tomorrow and on Friday.

Members of the public will have access to casket from 8am to 5.30pm.

The military will then fly Mr Mandela from Air Force Base Waterkloof to the Eastern Cape where the coffin will be placed on a gun carriage and transported to a hearse.

Mr Mandela's body will then be taken to his home village of Qunu.

A national day of reconciliation will take place on 16 December when a statue of Mr Mandela will be unveiled at the Union Buildings.

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Image: © Getty

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