A final memory for Mandela to cherish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

A final memory for Mandela to cherish

By Doug Conway 18/06/2010 04:40:25 AM Comments (0)

Nelson Mandela has one final memory of his great-granddaughter to cherish - how she got three kisses from World Cup star Cristiano Ronaldo.

The African statesman sat in the front row at her funeral service and heard an uncle describe how 13-year-old Zenani Zanethemba Nomasonto Mandela had enjoyed the thrill of meeting the Portuguese star before the World Cup started.

"She got a signed shirt and three kisses - one on each cheek and one on the lips," the uncle said.

Sadly, her young life was almost over, for soon afterwards she was killed in a car accident on the way home from the World Cup's opening concert featuring artists including Shakira.

Zenani died in the early hours of the 2010 tournament's opening day.

Her great-grandfather was so distraught he was unable to take his place at the centrepiece of the opening ceremony.

But he attended her funeral service on Thursday in the vine-covered chapel of St Stithians College, the exclusive Johannesburg school she attended.

The packed congregation of several hundred stood as one as the great man entered.

Mandela made no speech but listened intently to the tributes to his great-granddaughter, which included a video message from model Naomi Campbell, and to the hymns sung by the Soweto Gospel Choir.

The 91-year-old statesman walked with aid of a frame and was dropped off and picked up at the chapel entrance in a golf cart.

Security was visible but not overbearing and many well-wishers snapped photos as Mandela was driven away in a black BMW.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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