Mandela crash driver identified

2010-06-14 11:17

The car in which Nelson Mandela’s great granddaughter Zenani died

last week was driven by the son of the boyfriend of one of the former

president’s daughters, the family said.

“The car involved in the accident on the M1 was driven by Sizwe

Mankazana (23),” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in statement issued on

behalf of the Mandela family yesterday.

“He is the son of Zwelakhe Mankazana, the partner of Zenani

Mandela-Dlamini,” the eldest daughter of Mandela and his second wife Winnie


Zwelakhe Mankazana is a businessman with interests in mining and is

also a director of cellphone operator Cell C.

The family said his son deeply regretted the death of 13-year-old

Zenani Zanethemba Nomasonto Mandela and was co-operating with police

investigating the fatal accident on the M1 highway south of Johannesburg.

“I deeply regret the loss of our little Zeni. I ask that your

thoughts and prayers be with her family and friends during this very difficult

time,” Sizwe Mankazana was quoted as saying.

The Mandela family added: “Sizwe and his family have co-operated

fully with the authorities and will continue to do so.

“Sizwe is regarded as part of the Mandela family and spent a lot of

time with Zenani junior.”

The family revealed Mankazana’s identity after City Press reported

on Sunday that the car was driven by Zenani’s father, according to a tow-truck

driver who was first to arrive at the scene.

“The Mandela and the Mankazana families request, once again, that

they be allowed to mourn the loss of this precious little girl in dignity.

“We appeal for an end to this needless speculation which is causing

the family untold pain.”

The family said Zenani, Mankazana and a member of his family were

the only people in the car when it crashed in the early hours of Friday


They were returning home from the World Cup concert at Orlando

Stadium, Soweto.

Zenani’s death cast a shadow over the event and saw Mandela cancel

his appearance at the opening match between South Africa and Mexico. Gauteng

police spokesperson Brigadier Govindsamy Mariemuthoo said yesterday the driver

was expected to appear in court “soon” to face charges.

“The case was struck off the roll on Friday for further

investigation but it will be placed back on the roll. He will appear in court

soon to face charges.”

Mankaza is expected to face charges of drunk driving.

The Mandela family said funeral arrangements for Zenani would be

announced as soon as they have been confirmed.

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