100,000 gather to see Mandela, many turned away

6:13 PM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
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PRETORIA, SOUTH Africa (WUSA9/AP)--South African officials estimate that 100,000 people lined up to file past Nelson Mandela's casket today, but about a third of them had to be turned away.

MOREWUSA9 Anchor, Derek McGinty's Reports from South Africa

Disappointed mourners fought back tears when they were told they wouldn't be able to pay their respects to the anti-apartheid icon on his final day lying in state.

One college student says he waited in line for eight hours and was only about 100 people away when he was turned back.

The crowds have been growing by the day since Mandela's body went on display Wednesday in Pretoria. A government spokeswoman says about 70,000 mourners were able to file past the casket today, before it was taken away by a military guard.

MOREDerek McGinty's Photo Gallery from South Africa

Shortly before Mandela's casket was removed, a crowd of several hundred people broke through police barriers and raced toward the seat of government. Police moved them back into line peacefully.

Observers cheered and some burst into song when Mandela's cortege pulled away.

The funeral will be held Sunday in Mandela's rural hometown.
WUSA 9 anchor, Derek McGinty, has been in South Africa all week and will be covering Nelson Mandela's funeral.

 

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