Tens of thousands of mourners are waiting in line to view the body of South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela which is lying in state for the third and final day in the nation's capital.

The government said some 50,000 people had gathered by 7.30 a.m. (0530 GMT) and an AP journalist said Friday the lines in Pretoria are already several kilometers (miles) long.

As people kept arriving, the government warned it couldn't guarantee that all people currently queuing will be able to file past Mandela's casket until the agreed limit this afternoon.

Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95. From Pretoria his body will be flown to his rural hometown of Qunu in the south-east of the country for a state funeral service and burial on Sunday.