Jun 17, 2010: Frail and using a walking aid , former president Nelson Mandela smiled and waved at the people attending his great-granddaughter’s memorial service yesterday.
Mandela, 91, who arrived with his wife, Graca Machel, was helped into a golf cart that took him to the chapel at St Stithian’s College, Randburg, where 13-year-old Zenani was a Grade 6 pupil.
Zenani’s mother, Zoleka Mandela-Seakamela, and father, Casey Moyo, were seated in the front row.
The sermon was given by Mbuso Thabethe. The Soweto Gospel Choir sang hymns.
The chapel was filled to capacity with VIP guests and Zenani’s classmates. Dozens of mourners gathered outside.
In a heartbreaking message read by her sister-in-law, Refiloe Seaka-mela, Zenani’s mother told of her anguish.
“I love you so much, I miss you so much and I am hurting so much. Tell me, how do I go on without you after you have raised me for 13 years and how do I tell your brother that you are not going to be here when he grows up? I cannot do it without you.”
Zenani, who was a member of the school choir, and of its marimba and clarinet ensemble, was killed in a car crash on the M1 while being driven home by a relative, Sizwe Mankazana, from the World Cup Kick Off Concert at Orlando stadium, Soweto, on Thursday last week.
She was buried at a private ceremony at Fourways Cemetery early yesterday.
Those attending the memorial, service included Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe and Minister of Defence Lindiwe Sisulu, the head of the ANC in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, Mandela attorney George Bizos, Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Jacob Zuma’s wife, Thobeka.
Also in attendance were Zenani’s great-grandmother, Winnie Madi-kizela-Mandela, grandmothers Zindzi and Zenani, and her uncles Mandla, Bambatha, Luvuyo, Ndaba and Ndileka Mandela.
“Let us celebrate her life just like she did because she really did live every moment to the fullest,” said Bambatha, Zoleka’s youngest brother.
“She was my first ticket into the world of being an uncle, the first baby I have ever held, and she was Zoleka’s daughter and best friend,” .
A video message from supermodel Naomi Campbell was screened at the service. Campbell, one of Zenani’s six godmothers, said: ”She was a beautiful golden light … I truly loved her.” ref: By GABISILE NDEBELE and NOMSA MBELEKANE, Times of South Africa.