The opening of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa has been marred by the death of Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela in a car crash on Friday.
Nelson Mandela, the former president of South African, will not attend Friday’s FIFA world cup 2010 opening ceremony at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium as planned.
Zenani Mandela was returning home from the event’s Thursday night kickoff concert in Soweto, an extravaganza with stars like Alicia Keys and Shakira that was meant to launch the contest on a joyous note. At its conclusion, the sky lit up with fireworks as happy attendees made way to their parked vehicles. According to police, Zenani died in a one-car accident on a Johannesburg highway. The man behind the wheel, who has yet to be named, was accused of drunk driving and may also be charged with culpable homicide, the police said.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the tragedy “made it inappropriate” for the former president, who is 91, to attend the opening ceremony in Johannesburg.
“We are sure that South Africans and people all over the world will stand in solidarity with Mr. Mandela and his family in the aftermath of this tragedy,” the foundation said, adding that Mandela “will be there with you in spirit today.”