Mandela will not attend World Cup opening ceremony
Former South African president Nelson Mandela will not attend the opening ceremonies and first match of the 2010 World Cup, a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.world Updated: Jun 11, 2010 15:47 IST
Former South African president Nelson Mandela will not attend the opening ceremonies and first match of the 2010 World Cup, a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation said on Friday.
Mandela decided against appearing at South Africa's Group A match against Mexico after his great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela was killed in a car crash while returning home from the World Cup kick-off concert in Johannesburg in the early hours of Friday morning.
"It would be inappropriate for him to personally attend the 2010 World Cup opening celebrations. 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," the foundation said in a statement.
"We continue to believe that the 2010 World Cup is a momentous and historic occasion for South Africa and the continent and we are certain it will be a huge success."
According to the foundation, the car in which the girl, who had turned 13 two days ago, was travelling was the only vehicle involved in the accident. No one else was injured.