Mandela's Body Lies in State

Thousands pay their respects in Pretoria

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 11, 2013 7:29 AM CST

(Newser) – Thousands of visitors—ordinary people, dignitaries, and a few celebrities—are thronging the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where Nelson Mandela was sworn in as president of South Africa and where his body is lying in state today. His casket was greeted by a military honor guard upon its arrival, and will remain there for three days; the funeral will be held Sunday in Mandela's childhood home of Qunu. The New York Times notes that "the mood was more muted" than at yesterday's memorial ceremony.

Defense force personnel and hospital staff salute a procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela as it leaves the military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Defense force personnel and hospital staff salute a procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela as it leaves the military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
The procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
The procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Hospital staff react as the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela leaves the military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Hospital staff react as the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela leaves the military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
The procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
The procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A single flower rests on the roof of the car carrying the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela as it makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
A single flower rests on the roof of the car carrying the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela as it makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11,...   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
South African mourners hold posters of former president Nelson Mandela, while chanting slogans as the convoy transporting the body of Nelson Mandela passes by, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
South African mourners hold posters of former president Nelson Mandela, while chanting slogans as the convoy transporting the body of Nelson Mandela passes by, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec....   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
South African mourners sing and chant slogans while waiting for the convoy transporting the body of former president Nelson Mandela to pass by, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
South African mourners sing and chant slogans while waiting for the convoy transporting the body of former president Nelson Mandela to pass by, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
Military officers carry the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he will lie in state for three days in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
Military officers carry the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he will lie in state for three days in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, December...   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
Military officers carry the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he will lie in state for three days in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
Military officers carry the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he will lie in state for three days in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, December...   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
Military officers carry the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela into the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he will lie in state for three days in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
Military officers carry the coffin of former South African president Nelson Mandela into the Union Buildings in Pretoria where he will lie in state for three days in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday,...   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
Mourners holding yellow flowers wait for the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Mourners holding yellow flowers wait for the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
People wait for the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
People wait for the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
People react after the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela had makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
People react after the procession for former South African president Nelson Mandela had makes its way through the streets of Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
South African army soldiers stand in formation as they wait to start marching in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
South African army soldiers stand in formation as they wait to start marching in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A man forms a heart when taking part in a march for former President Nelson Mandela outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria South Africa, Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013, where the body of Mandela lies in state for three days.
A man forms a heart when taking part in a march for former President Nelson Mandela outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria South Africa, Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013, where the body of Mandela lies in state...   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
The South African flag flies at half-staff in front of the white stage cover where the body of Nelson Mandela lies in state at the Union Buildings grounds in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.
The South African flag flies at half-staff in front of the white stage cover where the body of Nelson Mandela lies in state at the Union Buildings grounds in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday Dec. 11,...   (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel pays her respects to the former South African president Nelson Mandela while lying in state at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel pays her respects to the former South African president Nelson Mandela while lying in state at the Union Buildings, Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
Hundreds of people line up for buses for transport to see the casket of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.
Hundreds of people line up for buses for transport to see the casket of Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, leaves after paying her respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, leaves after paying her respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria,...   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
Naomi Campbell, left, is helped as she leaves after paying her respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Naomi Campbell, left, is helped as she leaves after paying her respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday,...   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, left, and Nelson Mandela's former assistant,  Zelda le Grange walk past the casket of former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson, left, and Nelson Mandela's former assistant, Zelda le Grange walk past the casket of former South African President Nelson Mandela during the lying in state at the Union...   (AP Photo/Marco Longari, Pool)
A mourner wearing a Nelson Mandela rubber mask queues after waiting for hours to get into a bus to go to the Union Buildings where the casket of Former President Mandela lies in state for three days, in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
A mourner wearing a Nelson Mandela rubber mask queues after waiting for hours to get into a bus to go to the Union Buildings where the casket of Former President Mandela lies in state for three days,...   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Mourners wait in long lines, some carrying placards showing the face of Nelson Mandela, to get on the buses that would transport them to Union Buildings to view the casket of Nelson Mandela lying in state in Pretoria, South Africa Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.
Mourners wait in long lines, some carrying placards showing the face of Nelson Mandela, to get on the buses that would transport them to Union Buildings to view the casket of Nelson Mandela lying in state...   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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