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EMBARRASSING: Massive Amounts of Empty Seats During Mandela Memorial

It was supposed to be standing room only, but the memorial service held to honour the life of Nelson Mandela was remarkable for the large number of South Africans who failed to turn up.

Tens of thousands of seats in the venue, the FNB football stadium in Johannesburg, remained empty throughout five hours of eulogy. Even at the height of the service, only two thirds of seats were taken, a major embarrassment for the government of South Africa, which had billed it as the centrepiece of a week of events marking the death of Mandela.

Soon after the turnstiles to the 95,000-seater stadium were unlocked at 6am, it became clear that the flood of people expected by organisers would be less than torrential. With the 11am start of the ceremony approaching, huge swathes of the stadium were still empty, a point emphasised by the bright orange colour of the seats.

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