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Family says Mandela too frail to attend World Cup

world Updated: Jun 03, 2010 19:54 IST

AFP
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Nelson Mandela's family insisted Thursday the 91-year-old former South African leader was too frail to be at the opening of the World Cup, denying claims by officials that he would attend.

"I, as a member of the family, together with the family, have taken the decision that my grandfather is 92 years, it would be really a challenge to take him out in a cold winter day to go and watch a game of football," his grandson Mandla Mandela told AFP.

"We, as South Africans and the international community need to start considering his health. I really know that he'll not be at the opening match."

Mandla Mandela was speaking after the South African sports minister said the icon of the anti-apartheid struggle planned to go to the first match on June 11 and the final a month later.

"He requested four tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies, and the organisers have granted his wish," Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile said in The Star newspaper.

A spokesman for the ruling African National Congress also told AFP that Mandela "will be attending the opening and closing matches of the World Cup".

Asked about the statements from the government and ANC, Mandla Mandela said: "I don't know where they take that from."