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In Pictures
In Pictures: One last glance of Madiba
Tens of thousands of people waited for hours to get a final look at South Africa's beloved former president.
Last updated: 13 Dec 2013 08:02
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Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Pretoria from as early as 4am, for a chance to catch a last glimpse of their hero. Dressed in colourful attire, in hats and scarves, and holding banners that paid homage to South Africa's first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, many waited for seven hours to catch a final glimpse of the late leader. The queue snaked slowly through the streets of the South African capital under an unrelenting sun, reaching the Union Buildings, where Mandela’s body is "laying in state" until Friday.

Few, however, seemed to mind the wait. And they were at last rewarded with a sight of Mandela.

Unlike the memorials that are currently being held in churches and at stadiums across the country, there was little singing and dancing around the Union Buildings; just throngs of people patiently waiting for their turn to walk by Mandela’s cherished body.

One woman, with a tattoo of Madiba on her left arm, said that waiting in line for seven hours was a small price to pay for a man who sacrificed 27 years of his life in prison for the country. Another gentleman who traveled from the Limpopo province described Mandela's contribution as "extraordinary" and said he had come to pay his last respects. Two women, of the "born free" generation, as South Africans born after 1994 are known, said they wanted to show gratitude for the freedom Mandela had secured for them.

The event was dignified, with most police officers showing exemplary consideration in making sure the public was not herded like cattle as they would ordinarily experience in all such encounters with the state.

It was colourful with the informality of Madiba shining through the variety of fashion worn by the thousands in attendance.

It was also a simple experience, just as Madiba would have liked it.

Al Jazeera captures some of the images that defined the day.


/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Many had never seen Madiba in the flesh before and were determined to salute his legacy.



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera
South African paraphernalia were prevalent as the country regroups.


/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

"Waiting for seven hours pales in contrast to the 27 years he sacrificed in prison," said one onlooker. 



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera
Many smiled despite the long queues, heat and the sombre occasion.


/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

The word "gratitude" was a common theme in conversations with those who had come to pay their respects.



/
The constumes were diverse, imaginative and at times, regal.


/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

A large police presence sought to make the experience safe and comfortable for the public.



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Children came by their hundreds as well, holding placards and newspaper cuttings.



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Amid the mourning of Madiba, there has been an emerging expression of patriotism amongst South Africans.



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

A surprising number of young South Africans, including some who were not even born during apartheid, attended the event. 



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Some South Africans expressed the solemnity of the occasion through sartorial choice.



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera
While Madiba is universally loved, white South Africans were few and far between at the Union Buildings.


/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

"I dressed up for Tata," this woman said.



/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera
The ANC Women's League also came to show their respects by the bus load.


/Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Madiba has always inspired hope for a better future and some seemed insistent on continuing his legacy.




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images:
/mritems/images/2013/12/12/201312121643226120_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164322256886_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164322462650_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164322721915_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164322915748_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/2013121216432352861_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164323195825_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164323436192_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164323602206_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164323795928_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/2013121216432497781_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164324366210_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164324597417_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/2013121216432575631_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/12/12/20131212164325358743_8.jpg
captions:

Many had never seen Madiba in the flesh before and were determined to salute his legacy.

;*;South African paraphernalia were prevalent as the country regroups.;*;

"Waiting for seven hours pales in contrast to the 27 years he sacrificed in prison," said one onlooker. 

;*;Many smiled despite the long queues, heat and the sombre occasion.;*;

The word "gratitude" was a common theme in conversations with those who had come to pay their respects.

;*;The constumes were diverse, imaginative and at times, regal.;*;

A large police presence sought to make the experience safe and comfortable for the public.

;*;

Children came by their hundreds as well, holding placards and newspaper cuttings.

;*;

Amid the mourning of Madiba, there has been an emerging expression of patriotism amongst South Africans.

;*;

A surprising number of young South Africans, including some who were not even born during apartheid, attended the event. 

;*;

Some South Africans expressed the solemnity of the occasion through sartorial choice.

;*;While Madiba is universally loved, white South Africans were few and far between at the Union Buildings.;*;

"I dressed up for Tata," this woman said.

;*;The ANC Women\(***)s League also came to show their respects by the bus load.;*;

Madiba has always inspired hope for a better future and some seemed insistent on continuing his legacy.

Daylife ID:
a720fe6dd9377ec79afa86bb8a32d137
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera;*;Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Pretoria celebrates Mandelahttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandelaen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16:37:41 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/10626357fbc3ee7886c9eceefd660f59

Many had never seen Madiba in the flesh before and were determined
to salute his legacy

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/10626357fbc3ee7886c9eceefd660f59Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Many had never seen Madiba in the flesh before and were determined
to salute his legacy

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/f3137267fd9a934f9d618b73481c53cb

South African paraphernalia were prevalent as the country regroups.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/f3137267fd9a934f9d618b73481c53cbAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

South African paraphernalia were prevalent as the country regroups.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/90d627aa03cebc1aae2c2927b3d5071e

'Waiting for seven hours pales in contrast to the 27 years the he
sacrificed in prison.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/90d627aa03cebc1aae2c2927b3d5071eAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

'Waiting for seven hours pales in contrast to the 27 years the he
sacrificed in prison.'

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/9fabb423456205ea63f84f4adddbd076

Many smiled despite the long queues, heat and the sombre occasion.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/9fabb423456205ea63f84f4adddbd076Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Many smiled despite the long queues, heat and the sombre occasion.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/8180352a37508b29107543130d3cd3b4

The word 'gratitude' was a common theme in conversation with those
who had come to pay their respects.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/8180352a37508b29107543130d3cd3b4Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

The word 'gratitude' was a common theme in conversation with those
who had come to pay their respects.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/84b7c2456a90c59e63fd089fe112141c

The constumes were diverse, imaginative and at times, regal.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/84b7c2456a90c59e63fd089fe112141c

The constumes were diverse, imaginative and at times, regal.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/56543bbd8091d8467dd4dd1e7043d046

High police presence sought to make the experience as safe and
comfortable for the public.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/56543bbd8091d8467dd4dd1e7043d046Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

High police presence sought to make the experience as safe and
comfortable for the public.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/de258a2c04470b0e575b13568dcf3a4c

Children came by their hundreds as well, holding placards and
newspaper cuttings.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/de258a2c04470b0e575b13568dcf3a4cAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Children came by their hundreds as well, holding placards and
newspaper cuttings.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/fa902bfbee26f7596e27c421509f743e

Amid the mourning of Madiba, there is a emerging expression of
patriotism amongst South Africans.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/fa902bfbee26f7596e27c421509f743eAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Amid the mourning of Madiba, there is a emerging expression of
patriotism amongst South Africans.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/54022035c164fd612a800b3876b196ec

There were a surprising number of young South Africans some of
whom who were not even born during apartheid.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/54022035c164fd612a800b3876b196ecAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

There were a surprising number of young South Africans some of
whom who were not even born during apartheid.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/8ef13e10044fc1d0a7376d44f01d59a6

Some South Africans expressed the solemnity of the occasion
through sartorial choice.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/8ef13e10044fc1d0a7376d44f01d59a6Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Some South Africans expressed the solemnity of the occasion
through sartorial choice.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/7bdd7eaf5b14e282638abe38c07cff6e

While Madiba is universally loved, white South Africans were few and far between at the Union Buildings.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/7bdd7eaf5b14e282638abe38c07cff6eAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

While Madiba is universally loved, white South Africans were few and far between at the Union Buildings.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/ad023b5a168410f0a7af5e8bc13083ed

'I dressed up for Tata,' this woman said.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/ad023b5a168410f0a7af5e8bc13083edAzad Essa/ Al Jazeera

'I dressed up for Tata,' this woman said.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/5920a3396c7c949534eba6d493790e92

The ANC Women's League also came to show their respects by the bus load.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/5920a3396c7c949534eba6d493790e92Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

The ANC Women's League also came to show their respects by the bus load.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/ce5288cc39795c198837fa591472ab83

Madiba has always inspired hope for a better future and some
seemed insistent on continuing his legacy.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Pretoria_celebrates_Mandela/slideshow/no-caption/ce5288cc39795c198837fa591472ab83Azad Essa/ Al Jazeera

Madiba has always inspired hope for a better future and some
seemed insistent on continuing his legacy.



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