The streets of Pretoria were lined with people paying respects as the procession made a short journey from Military Hospital to the Union Buildings.
Traffic in the city was gridlocked from early morning with shops along the procession route closed.
Today in London a public memorial service will remember the life of the anti-apartheid leader at St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, the scene of freedom vigils for Mr Mandela during his incarceration.
Speaking at the service will be Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and Lord Joffe of Lidington, who both represented Mr Mandela at his treason trials, along with campaigner and African National Congress veteran Mama Thembi Nobhadula.
On Sunday Mr Mandela will be buried at his childhood village of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province.
The Prince of Wales will be among a smaller group of dignitaries travelling to the remote rural location for that service.