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
Mandela's Body Lies in State
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)

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. (More Nelson Mandela stories.)

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