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    September 22

  • 07:17 PM

Mandela attends great-granddaughter's funeral

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 18 June 2010

JOHANNESBURG – For the first time since the World Cup began, South Africa’s beloved Nelson Mandela appeared in public yesterday. Instead of a triumphal moment in the world’s spotlight, a somber, frail Mandela attended the funeral of his 13-year-old great-granddaughter, killed in a car crash with an allegedly drunk family friend at the wheel.It was a desolate moment for the 91-year-old anti-apartheid icon, one in a series of tragedies in a life in which the pressures of the political took a toll on the personal.Mandela, whose public appearances are increasingly rare, emerged stiffly from a car and leaned on a cane before being ferried in a golf cart to the brick chapel of the Johannesburg private school Zenani Mandela had attended.Mandela sat in a front pew, his back straight and his face grave, though he broke into a smile at lighter moments during the service, including when a troupe of young singers and dancers did a number in Zenani’s honor. The service, which featured pop songs, hymns and a Maya Angelou poem, lasted about three hours.Mandela wore a corsage of pink roses on the lapel of his black coat. Other mourners also brightened black clothes with ties, scarves and flowers in shades of pink, Zenani’s favorite color.Police say a close family friend who was driving the car that crashed on a highway in the early hours of June 11 could be charged with drunk driving and homicide. Zenani was returning from the official World Cup kickoff concert. (AP)

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