Thousands of South Africans line up to see Mandela lie in state
Military personnel carry the remains of the late Nelson Mandela upon arrival at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
PRETORIA (Reuters) - Thousands of people lined up on Wednesday to say goodbye to Nelson Mandela, whose body lay in state in Pretoria in the building where the anti-apartheid hero was inaugurated in 1994 as South Africa's first black president.
Several people fainted in the stifling heat as South Africans waited their turn to file past Mandela's casket after family members, foreign dignitaries and celebrities paid their respects at the imposing Union Buildings, perched on a hill overlooking the city.
Boy is seen with an image of former South African President Nelson Mandela printed on his face as he queues to view Mandela's body in Pretoria
By afternoon the summer heat and lack of access to water and toilets caused several people to pass out and tempers to fray as mourners waited in line for their last chance to see the man regarded as the father of democratic South Africa.
"There's a 5,000-strong crowd here. There's not one mobile toilet, no water, there's nothing for the people. People are becoming upset and frustrated," said Ronelle Johnson-Hoskins, who had been queuing since morning.
Mourners, some carrying infants on their backs, were also turned away if they did not have an identity document, she said, something they did not know they needed.
People hold hands in solidarity as they queue to view the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria
The government said in a statement that identity documents were not required, and said the cut-off time for those hoping to view Mandela's body had been reached by 3:30 pm (1330 GMT), meaning many hundreds of people were likely be turned away.