Mandela won’t attend World Cup opening ceremony (Second Lead)June 11th, 2010 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS
Johannesburg, June 11 (IANS) Former South African president Nelson Mandela will not attend the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Friday following the death of his 13-year-old great-granddaughter in a car crash.
It would be “inappropriate for him to attend the ceremony”, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) quoted a Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson as saying.
Zenani, 13, the granddaughter of the former president’s daughter Zinzi Mandela, died in a car crash early Friday. The driver of the car has been arrested on charges of culpable homicide and drunken driving.
“Zenani Mandela was travelling in a car returning from the World Cup kick-off concert at Orlando Stadium when the accident occurred. There was only one car involved and no one else was injured,” Sello Hatang, communication head at the foundation, was quoted as saying by BuaNews.
Zenani, who celebrated her 13th birthday Wednesday, was one of the former president’s nine great-grandchildren.
Mandela, also known by his nickname Madiba, was due to make a brief appearance at the celebrations before going home to watch the opening match between South Africa and Mexico.
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