June 11, 2010 in Nation/World

Mandela relative dies in crash

Great-granddaughter killed after World Cup festivities
Donna Bryson Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG – Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great-granddaughter was killed in a car crash on the way home from a concert in Soweto on the eve of the World Cup, his office said today.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Zenani Mandela died in a one-car accident and no one else was injured. Tummi Shai, a police spokeswoman, told the Associated Press that a case of probable homicide – not unusual in traffic accidents where negligence is suspected – had been opened.

Thursday’s World Cup concert had drawn tens of thousands of people to Soweto, and traffic was congested into the early hours today.

Zenani, who celebrated her 13th birthday on Wednesday, was one of the anti-apartheid icon’s nine great-grandchildren.

“The family has asked for privacy as they mourn this tragedy,” the foundation said in a statement.

Mandela, who turns 92 on July 18, has largely retired from public life although as of Thursday it had been anticipated he would make a brief appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony today, depending on his health and the weather conditions.

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