19 Jun 2010

Mandela attends great granddaughter's funeral

7:22 am on 19 June 2010

South Africa's World Cup celebration took a sombre turn as Nelson Mandela attended the funeral of his great-granddaughter, who was killed in a car crash on the eve of the tournament.

South Africa paused from its World Cup festivities to mourn with the family, as hundreds gathered at 13-year-old Zenani Mandela's school for the public funeral following a private burial.

At 91, the increasingly frail Mandela rarely appears in public. He cancelled a scheduled appearance at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium last weekend after learning of the accident.

Zenani was killed when her car flipped over on a central Johannesburg highway while returning from a World Cup concert the night before the kick-off.

The driver, 23-year-old Sizwe Mankazana, was close to the family but now faces charges of drunk driving and culpable homicide.

Zenani died just two days after her 13th birthday, casting a shadow over the World Cup opening as the family mourned.