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Mandela's great granddaughter dies in car crash

The opening of the World Cup was marred today by the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter in a car crash.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Zenani Mandela (13) was killed on the way home from last night's Soweto concert heralding today's launch of the tournament, which is being held in Africa for the first time.

The girl apparently died in a one-car accident and no-one else was injured. Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was in the car, police said.

Police spokesman Noxolo Kweza said the driver had been arrested and police were investigating a case of culpable homicide. The Mandela Foundation said the family had asked for privacy. Zenani was a grand-daughter of Zindzi Mandela, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's daughter.

Zenani, who celebrated her 13th birthday just two days ago, was one of the anti-apartheid icon's nine great-grandchildren.

The foundation said in a statement: "The family has asked for privacy as they mourn this tragedy."

Tummi Shai, a police spokeswoman, said that a case of probable homicide -- not unusual in traffic accidents where negligence is suspected -- had been opened.

She would not give any further details, including the location of the accident.


It had been hoped that Mr Mandela, who is 92 on July 18, would make a brief appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony.

Earlier this week he met members of the Black Eyed Peas, one of the main acts at last night's concert, and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mr Mandela was expected to take some part in today's opening day festivities, although his family is worried about his health.

South Africa has been enjoying a carnival atmosphere during the build-up to the World Cup, with fans from the 32 competing nations flying in from across the globe.

Last night's concert featured Colombian pop star Shakira and US chart-toppers The Black Eyed Peas.

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