Nelson Mandela attends great-granddaughter's funeral

Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, joined mourners

Nelson Mandela has made a rare public appearance for the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani, who was killed in a car crash last week.

Zenani Mandela, 13, died after a World Cup concert in Soweto.

Following the tragedy, Mr Mandela cancelled plans to go to the opening ceremony of the football tournament.

The car's driver, a family friend, was arrested and initially charged with drink-driving, but is not due in court until after the World Cup ends.

On a bitterly cold winter's day, a frail Nelson Mandela emerged from a black limousine supported by his wife Graca Machel.

Stoney-faced and wearing a thick black coat, this was one of the rare public glimpses of South Africa's first black president.

With determination written all over his face, the man they call Madiba joined mourners to say farewell.

The service at the chapel of St Stithian's College was led by fellow classmates dressed in smart blue uniforms.

Alongside them stood hundreds of mourners, including some of the biggest names from South Africa's liberation movement like George Bizoz - the veteran human rights lawyer who represented Mr Mandela during the apartheid years.

There too saying goodbye to the girl who liked to make pancakes, scrambled eggs and stage beauty pageants with her friends, were figures from the world of entertainment and sport.

As the song Lean On Me echoed through the packed chapel, mourners viewed a slideshow of images that captured the youngster's most precious moments - time spent with family including Mr Mandela himself wearing one of his trademark patterned shirts, and his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Anti-apartheid icon Mr Mandela, 91, had campaigned for the World Cup to be held in South Africa.

The family held a private burial before going to the chapel service where the public were invited.

Hundreds of well wishers turned up, filling the chapel and a tent set up nearby.

Television pictures show him being taken from his limousine by a golf buggy and then, supported by his wife, Graca Machel, making his way to the front pew of the chapel at Zenani's Johannesburg school where the service is being held.

Mr Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela - Zenani's great-grandmother - is also present, along with key figures from the world of politics, entertainment and sport and some of Zenani's classmates.

The Soweto Gospel Choir performed as guests arrived, while later the classic soul song Lean on Me was played as images of Zenani were shown on a screen.

Zenani had celebrated her 13th birthday on 9 June. She was one of Mr Mandela's nine great-grandchildren.

An anguished message was read during the service from Zenani's mother, Zoleka Mandela-Seakamela, daughter of Mandela's daughter Zindzi Mandela.

Mrs Mandela-Seakamela said she wished she had indulged her daughter more, allowing her to sleep in late and wear make-up.

"I should have given you more hugs, more kisses," she said.

South Africa has one of the world's worst road safety records, and there is an average of 42 deaths each day on roads across the country.

Last Thursday's World Cup concert had drawn tens of thousands to Soweto's Orlando Stadium, and traffic in the area had been busy into the early hours of Friday.

The event featured a cast of international stars - including Colombian singer Shakira, the Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys, as well as African stars Amadou & Mariam and Hugh Masekela.

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SOUTH AFRICA 2010

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