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Snaking lines of Mandela mourners recall iconic images of voters in 1994

Jacoline Prinsloo / AFP - Getty Images

2013: Peope line up at the Pretoria show grounds Thursday to board buses that will take them to the Union Buildings where Nelson Mandela is lying in state.

Nelson Mandela's first election was in 1994. Not just as a candidate, but like all black South Africans, it was the first time he'd been allowed to vote in an election. Voters had to wait in line for hours, some overnight, but the mood was jubilant and Mandela's party, the African National Congress, won in a landslide. He stepped down after one term.
Many of the people waiting to view Mandela's body as it lay in state on Thursday, must have recalled the long lines from 1994 as they waited patiently to honor their country's first black president.

Denis Farrell / AP file

1994: A long line of people waits outside the polling station in the black township of Soweto, in the southwest suburbs of Johannesburg, to vote in South Africa's first all-race elections on April 27, 1994. Mandela was elected by Parliament as the first president of a democratic South Africa on May 9, 1994.

Ian Langsdon / EPA

The hearse carrying the body of late South African president Nelson Mandela, whose coffin is wrapped in a flag, drives down Mandela Street to the Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, on Thursday. The body will lie in state at the seat of the government for three days.

Dai Kurokawa / EPA

South Africans sing and dance on the street as they wait to see a hearse carrying the body of late South African President Nelson Mandela on Thursday in Pretoria.

Ben Curtis / AP

Close to 100 heads of state traveled to South Africa to attend events commemorating the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

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