WORLD CUP TRAGEDY: MANDELA'S DAUGHTER DIES IN AUTO CRASH
Tragedy yesterday struck the family of former South African president Nelson Mandela as his 13-year-old great-granddaughter, Zenani, died in a car crash on the way home from a tournament-eve concert in Soweto.
According to Associated Press, South Africa's beloved anti-apartheid icon stayed at home with his family yesterday in Northern Johannesburg during the opening ceremony of the game, mourning.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said the tragedy 'made it inappropriate' for the former president, who is 91, to attend the opening ceremony in Johannesburg.
'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, adding that Mandela 'will be there with you in spirit today'.
Johannesburg Metro police spokeswoman Edna Mamonyane said the driver of the car had been arrested and charged with drunk driving. Mamonyane said the driver, whom police didn't identify, could also face homicide charges.
'The Metro police found that he was drunk,' Mamonyane said. 'He lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a barricade.'
Police spokesman Govindsamy Mariemuthoo, who earlier said the driver, would appear in court for a preliminary hearing yesterday, said that it had been postponed for more investigations, and that the driver was not being held. Mariemuthoo said that was not unusual.
'It's a decision of the prosecutor,' he said.
The Mandela foundation denied reports that the former president's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was in the car, but said she was treated in hospital for shock after being told of the fatal accident. She was discharged after a few hours.
She later attended the opening ceremony, with her two daughters.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who was in South Africa to lead his country's delegation to the opening ceremony, and South Africa's governing African National Congress party were among those who offered condolences.
'The nation shares your loss and mourns with you, especially on the day on which our dreams and hopes come alive in the opening of the first FIFA World Cup on African soil,' President Jacob Zuma said in a message of condolence to Mandela.