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Mandela appears at World Cup final

Nelson Mandela 2

South Africa's First Black President, Nelson Mandela, made his first official 2010 World Cup appearance at the closing ceremony, after being affected by failing health and family tragedy.

- AFP

A beaming Nelson Mandela waved to the tens of thousands of fans in Soccer City ahead of the 2010 World Cup final, drawing thunderous applause as he was driven onto the pitch.

South Africa's first black president rode next to his wife Graca Machel in an open-air vehicle, flashing his world-famous smile to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.

Both were warmly wrapped against the winter chill in Johannesburg as they appeared for just a few minutes, his first appearance at the 2010 World Cup.

The Nobel laureate, who turned 92 a week after the tournament, played a crucial role in bringing the World Cup to South Africa.

But he cancelled his appearance at the June 11 opener after his 13-year-old great-granddaughter died in a car accident on the eve the tournament.

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