*The vuvuzelas were going crazy on Sunday as Nelson Mandela surprised fans at the World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands, capping South Africa’s pride in staging the tournament. [Sc
In frail health, the 91-year-old former president of South Africa waved briefly from a golf cart surrounded by bodyguards as the crowd chanted his clan name Madiba.
FIFA had said it hoped Mandela would attend but the former South Africa president, who celebrates his birthday on July 18, rarely appears in public. Mandela missed the opening match of the tournament a month ago after his great-granddaughter died in a car accident.
South Africa’s military health service said Mandela’s visit was made possible after it had close consultations with his family and FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.
“At no stage was the health of Dr. Mandela compromised and… members of the SA Military Health Service (were) on hand to ensure the wellbeing of Dr. Mandela,” it said in a statement.