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  1. ITV Report

Thousands queue for hours to pay last respects to Nelson Mandela

People queue to view the body of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Photo: Reuters

Thousands of ordinary South Africans queued for hours today in hopes of seeing Nelson Mandela's body as he lies in state in Pretoria.

The crowds grew so large that authorities were forced to tell mourners to stop heading to the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African government, as there was no way they would make it through the crowds today.

Soldiers help a woman as she collapses after seeing Nelson Mandela's coffin. Credit: Reuters

There were some complaints from those waiting as the temperature soared and there were reports of some fainting or being taken ill while in the line.

Mandela's body will lie at the Union Buildings, on the same spot where he was invested as President 19 years ago, for the next two days.

Mandela's body will lie in state for three days. Credit: ITV News / Andy Rex

Former South African president FW de Klerk told ITV News: "I'm very sad. Yesterday was a day for celebration. Today is a day for mourning."

Asked how it felt to see Mandela, he said: "It touched my heart deep."

Before the gates were opened to the crowds, world leaders, dignitaries, celebrities and friends were all given the chance to say a final goodbye.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell reacts after viewing the coffin of Mandela. Credit: REUTERS/Kim Ludbrook/Pool

Mandela's family were some of the first to view his coffin.

Graca Machel, Nelson Mandela's widow, visits his coffin in Pretoria. Credit: Reuters
Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie pays her respects at his coffin. Credit: Reuters

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