Dec. 11 - Thousands of mourners wait for public busses that will take them to the site where the body of former anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela lies in state. Mana Rabiee reports.
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They're waiting to say good-bye.
In Pretoria, South Africa, thousands are shuttled by public bus to where the body of the late anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela, lies in state.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JOHN MURPHY SAYING:
"Our hearts are breaking and we want to go and say good-bye."
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BERNADENE SOLOMONS SAYING:
"It's the least you can do for a man that did such a great thing for this country - to bring us all together."
When they arrive, they'll wait again.
Thousands more are lining up to see Mandela's coffin at the Union Building.
That's where he was sworn in as South Africa's first black president.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED SOUTH AFRICAN MOURNER SAYING:
"Day one, I'm crying a lot, yeah."
For some, the bus ride is a pilgrimage of sorts.
Their hero, who died Thursday, has made the journey to the 'great beyond', they say, so surely they can make this trip to pay their last respects.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) SILAS MAKHUTU SAYING:
"Now we just want to go and see him and say farewell to Madiba, say bye-bye. So, just go and see him to say Viva to the next world."
As another bus sets off, there's a sense of excitement.
In saying goodbye to the father of modern South Africa, they've become a part of their nation's history, even as they head into an uncharted future.
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