Zenani Mandela dies in car crash after world cup concert

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela (L)

Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great-granddaughter was killed in a car crash on the way home from a concert in Soweto on the eve of the World Cup, his office said Friday.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Zenani Mandela died in a one-car accident and no one else was injured. Tummi Shai, a police spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that a case of probable homicide – not unusual in traffic accidents where negligence is suspected – had been opened. Shai would not give any further detail, including the location of the accident.

Thursday’s World Cup concert had drawn tens of thousands of people to Soweto, and traffic was congested into the early hours of Friday.

Zenani, who celebrated her 13th birthday on Wednesday, was one of the anti-apartheid icon’s nine great-grandchildren.

“The family has asked for privacy as they mourn this tragedy,” the foundation said in a statement.

Mandela, who turns 92 on July 18, has largely retired from public life although as of Thursday it had been anticipated he would make a brief appearance at the World Cup opening ceremony Friday, depending on his health and the weather conditions.

In a statement Thursday, the Foundation said it had been “inundated with requests for meetings, and it will be impossible for Mr. Mandela to accede to even a small fraction of these.” But Mandela met this week with members of the Black Eyed Peas, one of the main acts at Thursday’s concert, and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Carlos Queiroz – the latter a former coach of South Africa.



  2. My heart felt condolance to the Mandela family for the loss of their beloved one .May her soul rest in peace Amen

  3. May heart fel;t condolances to the mandela family for the loss of their beloved one .May the GOD LORD make his shane face upon them and bless them in this trying moment.MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE

  4. Oh how sad and what an awkward time! But surely the report should have been a bit more elaborate… just “one-car accident” for a 13 year old iz rather hazy.

  5. My condolances to the family. The guardian shouldn’t have allowed a 13 year old girl to attend the concert in the first place or did she sneak out???

  6. Drunken driving is the cause of all these. I wish people could understand what alcohol does when you drink n’ drive. May her soul rest in peace.

  7. God gives and takes, i pray that God may be with the family as they mourn. I know its not an easy thing to loose a beloved one. May you be comforted in the Lord.

  8. the girl wasn’t driving and the mother wasn’t in the car but was treated for shock according to reports. Condolences to the Mandela family

  9. Very sad story indeed coming on the eve of such an important event. Death is always a big secret. The girl celebrates her birthday on a wednesday and then the next day she is gone after attending to “national duties”. I mean going to give all the support to the football cause at the concert. May the family find the strength to mourn the little girl.


  11. #10, God had nothing to do with the taking of the 13 yr girl. God gave, yes, but He did not take her. the devil took her life. Leave God out of her death. Condolences to the Mandela family

  12. Be strong and may God bless you Mandela and the family.
    We dedicated Ps23 TO YOUR FAMILY


  13. #14, thanks for the correction, i thought God is both the giver of Life and he takes it at his own appointed time. Nevertheless, condolences to the family. Stay blest.

  14. The child was riding in a car with a drunken man. She was 13yrs old. Why didn’t she have parental supervision that late at night?

    Its such a tragedy for a young child to go like that.

  15. Behave yourself, there is loss of life here, do not bring in silly sentiments, you do not know if she was in the company of parents or not. May the Soul of this little angel Rest In Peace.

  16. Police told CNN that the driver in this case was drunk.

    I have seen Zambians here in the diaspora drink and drive with their children in their cars many times. Let this be a learning curve before more young lives are lost at the hands of irresponsible adults.

  17. 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.”

  18. Zenani Mandela died in a one-car accident and no one else was injured,this means she was very very drunk.MHSRIP

  19. The devil is aliar and at all times he comes to kill and steal, he has stolen the innocent princess but this opens the family’s eyes that they are under attack and they need to arise and fight with prayers.may her soul rest in peace. sheila uganda CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY

  20. This is so sad indeed…#26 she was not driving the car and pointing fingers will not help at this time. I pray that God guides the family through this tough time and people don’t let the devil deceive you…he is the stealer if lives…God is love and death has nothing to do with love. RIP Zinzi..poor soul…

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