South Africans lined up for a second day to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela as his body lies in state in the capital, Pretoria.
Mourners began gathering before 6 a.m. local time Thursday at three locations in the city to be bused to the Union Buildings, where Mandela's body lies within a temporary mahogany structure in an open-air amphitheater. Thousands were undeterred after hours of waiting and undergoing security checks yesterday.
"My heart is very sore," Jeanette Hadebe, 71, said after visiting Mandela's casket. "He was our hope for so long. But it's time for him to rest."
Mandela, who was 95 when he died on Dec. 5, spent 27 years in prison for fighting to end white minority rule and won universal acclaim for negotiating a peaceful transition to democracy. He became South Africa's first black president in 1994 when the ruling African National Congress won multiracial elections.
Julius Malema, a critic of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress party, led hundreds of supporters of his Economic Freedom Fighters party in a march to Mandela's house in Johannesburg today where they laid flowers.
"We are here to say to President Mandela, 'Thank you for ushering in political freedom,' " said Malema, addressing his members in front of the flowers piled at the house in Houghton.
Outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Mandela's head and shoulders are visible behind a glass covering. Indelible ink, used during elections, will be applied to mourners' fingers to prevent multiple viewings, the government said .
Mandela's remains will be transported on Saturday to Qunu, the village where he spent part of his childhood in the Eastern Cape province and where he will be buried the following day.
About 40,000 people attended a memorial for Mandela at the Cape Town Stadium yesterday that included speeches by Helen Zille, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, and Trevor Manuel, a minister in Zuma's office. Performers including Annie Lennox, Johnny Clegg and Ladysmith Black Mambazo entertained the crowd with songs. Zille, who had attended Mandela's wake in Pretoria, said, "His face shows he is at peace."