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Nelson Mandela ‘will attend World Cup opening’

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June 3, 2010

(BBC)  Former South African President Nelson Mandela will attend the opening ceremony of the World Cup, the country’s sports minister has said.

Makhenkesi Stofile said the anti-apartheid icon had requested tickets for the opening and closing events.

Previously the Mandela family had said he was too frail to attend the tournament which starts next week.

Mr Mandela, who will be 92 next month, campaigned for the World Cup to come to South Africa.

“Mandela has demanded to attend the World Cup,” Mr Stofile said.

His charity, the Mandela Foundation, has not confirmed his attendance, citing security reasons.

Some 350,000 people are expected to visit South Africa for the World Cup, which is being held in Africa for the first time.

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