As the World Cup begins, Nelson Mandela, 91, grieves the death of his 13-year-old great-granddaughter, Zenani.
Mandela gathered yesterday with devastated family members after the teen was killed in a drunken-driving accident as she returned from the star-studded pre-World Cup concert, where Alicia Keys and many others performed.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the man arrested in connection with the accident was a relative of the teenager, although his identity and the details of the female passenger have remained private. “He lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a barricade,” said a police spokesperson.
“Zenani recently expressed the ambition to become a plastic surgeon,” a source said. “Most of all she loved to read and write which she did daily.”
Mandela was a strong supporter of having the World Cup in his homeland, even making a personal appeal to the Cup bidding committee in 2004. In the wake of Zenani’s death, the former South African leader did not attend the opening ceremonies of the World Cup on Friday morning.
Mandela’s eldest son was killed in a 1969 car accident, while he was imprisoned.
Our deepest condolences go out to the Mandela family.