Great granddaughter of Mandela dies after concert
Nelson Mandela to miss opening game of World Cup after death of 13-year-old Zenani
The family of Nelson Mandela has been struck by tragedy following last night's World Cup opening concert. Zenani Mandela, one of the former president's nine great-grandchildren, was killed in a car accident on her way home from the star-studded event at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
As a result, former President Mandela, who is widely credited with winning the World Cup bid for South Africa back in 2004, will not now attend this afternoon's opening match between South Africa and Mexico.
Zenani died a day after her 13th birthday. According to police, the driver was drunk and lost control of the car on a motorway slip road in Johannesburg. The car hit a barricade and overturned.
Earlier reports claimed that Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Mandela, now Winnie Madikizela, was also in the car. But a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation has since explained that she went to the hospital where Zenani was taken after being informed of the accident. She was treated for shock and released.
Zenani's iconic great-grandfather had been too frail to attend the concert, but the crowd roared their approval when Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who introduced a film tribute to the anti-apartheid campaigner, asked them to cheer so loud Mandela would hear them at home in Johannesburg.
Tutu, dressed in a yellow-and-green football shirt and matching bobble hat, gave an appropriately Tutu-esque barnstorming performance to get the World Cup underway.
"I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming. It's so beautiful - wake me up!" he said. "We want to say to the world: 'Thank you for helping this ugly, ugly worm, or caterpillar which we were, to become a beautiful, beautiful butterfly'."
To the football fans attending from around the world, he said: "We welcome you all. For Africa is the cradle of humanity, so we welcome you home."
The concert featured Shakira (above), the Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys as well as many home-grown acts, including the legendary trumpeter Hugh Mesekela.
Shakira, wearing a cut-away animal print under what looked like a grass skirt, performed the waka waka - official anthem and dance of the World Cup. ·
Comments are now closed on this article