Nelson Mandela made a rare public appearance Thursday for the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani, who was killed in a car crash last week.
Zenani Mandela, 13, died in a car crash while coming home from a World Cup concert in Soweto. Following the tragedy, Mandela cancelled plans to attend the tournament’s opening ceremony.
Video clips show the 91-year-old emerging stiffly from a golf buggy and then being supported by his wife Graca Machel as he made his way to the front pew of the chapel at Zenani’s Johannesburg school, where the service was held.
Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – Zenani’s great-grandmother – was also present, along with key figures from the world of politics, entertainment and sport and some of Zenani’s classmates, according to reports.
The Soweto Gospel Choir performed as guests arrived, while later the classic Bill Withers song “Lean on Me” was played as images of Zenani were shown on a screen.
The service was followed by a private burial.
Zenani, one of Mandela’s nine great-grandchildren, had celebrated her 13th birthday on June 9.
Last Thursday’s World Cup concert, which featured Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas and Shakira among its international lineup, had drawn tens of thousands to Soweto’s Orlando Stadium, and traffic in the area had been busy into the early hours of Friday.
The driver of the car carrying Zenani, a family friend, was arrested and initially charged with drunk driving.
Below, Nelson Mandela attends the funeral of his 13-year-old great-granddaughter, Zenani, who was killed in a car crash after the World Cup’s opening concert.