Vavi to visit Mandela public viewing


Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has arrived at the Fountains Valley park-and-ride facility in Pretoria for a second day.

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Clarissa Sosin)

Suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi waited in a queue with nearly a thousand people for a bus to the Union Buildings to view the body of former president Nelson Mandela, who is lying in state for the second day.

On Wednesday, Vavi also waited in the queue, along with former trade unionist Jay Naidoo.

On Thursday, Vavi spoke to people in the queue as he waited, and managed to board a bus to the Union Buildings around 9am.

Buses were moving fast at Fountains Valley.

As one bus left full of mourners, another pulled up to pick up more. The queue stretched nearly one kilometre, but was moving swiftly.

Ambulances were on standby in case anyone needed assistance. People stood in the heat determined to pay their last respects to the father of the nation.

Some carried umbrellas and others wore caps.

Meanwhile, members of the Working on Fire programme danced and sang in honour of Mandela outside his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday morning.

The fire fighters, wearing bright yellow T-shirts and dark blue overall pants, filled the air with song as people continued to leave flowers and other tokens along the wall of Mandela's house.

Ice-cream vendors, police, and a few members of the media looked on as people flocked around the barricade on the corner of 4th Street and 12th Avenue.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema was expected to lay flowers there on Thursday morning, before heading to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to pay his last respects to the international icon of peace and reconciliation, where he is lying in state.

Mandela died at the house in Houghton last Thursday at the age of 95.

The official memorial service was held at the FNB Stadium, in Soweto, on Tuesday, and was attended by about 100 current and former heads of state and government.

He will be buried in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday. Sapa

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