Trains to Mandela memorial delayed

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People wait for the Rea Vaya shuttle, which was delayed by half and hour.

JOHANNESBURG - Trains transporting people to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in FNB Stadium are running behind schedule because of safety precautions.

Metrorail Spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said the service is experiencing a 20 to 35 minutes delay.

“41 trains have been made available for Mandela’s service. The trains started moving at 5am and more than 30 000 people have already been transported.

“The only challenge we experienced is that people were chanting inside moving trains and at some stations people took a bit longer to get inside the train. For the safety of everyone our officials decided to add a few minutes at pick up points. Our officials were also sent to control the situation inside moving trains,” said Mofokeng.

No injuries have been reported yet.

Mofokeng said the number of people using the trains is expected to decrease as people have moved to the Rea Vaya buses provided to ferry crowds to the ceremony.

“In the next hour we will assess the situation and possibly start transporting mourners to overflow venues,” she said.

Overflow venues are Ellis Park Stadium in central Johannesburg, Orlando Stadium and the Dobsonville Stadium both in Soweto.