Nelson Mandela’s Great-Granddaughter Killed By Drunk Driver, South African Leader In Mourning As World Cup Kicks Off

- By Bossip Staff Categories: News, R.I.P., SMH

"Zenani Mandela and Nelson Mandela on his 91st birthday July 18 2009"

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president and great icon, is mourning today following the death of his 13-year-old great granddaughter Zenani, who was killed in a car accident on the way home from a World Cup concert in Soweto Thursday night. Details when you …

Zenani Mandela was killed after leaving Thursdays World Cup concert in Soweto headlined by Shakira and the Black Eyed Peas.

Johannesburg police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane said the driver of the car involved in the one-car accident, a male, had been arrested and charged with drink-driving. Mamonyane said the driver, who police would not name, could also face culpable homicide charges.

“The Metro police found that he was drunk,” Mamonyane said. “He lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a barricade.”

“The nation shares your loss and mourns with you, especially on the day on which our dreams and hopes come alive in the opening of the first FIFA World Cup on African soil,” President Jacob Zuma said in a message of condolence to Mandela.

Mandela had been expected to make a brief appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony Friday, depending on his health and the weather. But after announcing the death of his great-granddaughter, his foundation said he would not be going to the stadium.

“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,” a spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela foundation said. Mandela “will be there with you in spirit today.”

The tragedy was not a first for Mandela, who suffered the loss of his oldest son, Madiba Thembekile in a 1969 car crash, while he was imprisoned at Robben Island. Prison officials refused to allow Mandela to attend the funeral.

“I do not have words to express the sorrow, or the loss I felt,” Mandela wrote in his autobiography. “It left a hole in my heart that can never be filled.”

Thirty-six years later, Mandela announced his last surviving son, Makgatho, had died of AIDS-related complications, saying the only way to fight the disease’s stigma was to speak openly.

This is so sad. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family.

R.I.P. Zenani


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  • n_satiable

    Incredibly sad. The World Cup was supposed to bring such positive light and energy to a continent which is so often stereotyped and understood, and it is sad that such a tragic event has occurred. Prayers for the Mandela family.

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  • LaDiva

    Wow rip….

  • Candid Canuck

    dang… a day in his shoes..

  • 2dimplzs

    Very sad news. My condolences.

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  • niecey

    Really sad… prayer go out to the family

  • Sydney™

    Such horribly tragic news on the eve of a momentous occasion. R.I.P. Zenani Mandela — my deepest condolences to the Mandela family.

  • Sister

    Very sad, my heart goes out to Mandela and the childs parents..

  • LuvN_Life

    Man,Nelson mandela is a pillar of strength!”i hope he can continue to be so.
    May his great granddaughter rest in peace and his family continue to overcome and prevail this Hardship”

  • nwilson

    Wow! all I can say is I am truly sorry for the Mandela family lost. So young and never even got a chance to fullfill her life! But, she is somewhere better now. R.I.P.

  • Maureen

    Come on South Africa! Now you must win this for little Zenani!

  • Bg

    Very Sad!

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