Mandela To Miss World Cup Opening

“It would therefore be inappropriate for him to personally attend the FIFA World Cup opening celebrations,” Sello Hatang, from the Mandela Foundation told CNN.

“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.”

Zenani Mandela, 13, died early Friday morning while returning from the World Cup soccer tournament’s kick-off concert, the foundation said. She was in a car returning from the show at Orlando Stadium when the wreck occurred.

No other vehicle was involved in the wreck, the foundation said.

The driver was arrested for culpable homicide and drunk driving, police told CNN.

Zenani turned 13 on Wednesday. She was one of Mandela’s nine great-grandchildren.

The former leader had been expected to attend Friday’s World Cup kickoff, his grandson Nkosi Mandela confirmed on Tuesday.

Mandela, who is 91, played a key role in bringing the World Cup to South Africa but has made limited public appearances recently, although he did meet the South Africa squad last week.