President Barack Obama looks down as he stands next to the sign language interpreter as he makes his speech at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. South Africa's deaf federation said on Wednesday that the interpreter on stage for Mandela memorial was a 'fake', (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Hundreds storm police barrier to see Mandela body
By MARKUS SCHREIBER
| The Associated Press
First Published Dec 13 2013 09:56 am • Last Updated Dec 13 2013 09:56 am
Pretoria, South Africa • Several hundred mourners eager to pay their last respects to Nelson Mandela broke through police barriers and stormed up toward the Union Buildings shortly before the former South African President’s body was moved away.
An AP reporter in Pretoria witnessed Friday how the crowd stormed up the hill toward Mandela’s casket and saw police chase people several hundred meters (yards) to stop them.
The reporter says the people were joyous as they raced toward the buildings. No violence erupted and police peacefully brought them back in line.
The government said earlier about 100,000 mourners turned out Friday, the third and final day of the lying in state but half of them had to be turned away before the casket was returned to 1 Military Hospital.
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