Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren were held up by gunmen following the South African leader’s 92nd birthday party, it emerged today.
No one was hurt and the attackers fled after an exchange of gunfire on Sunday.
Police said Mr Mandela’s grandchildren were returning to their Johannesburg home following the family birthday party.
Two gunmen approached the car as it entered the gates of the home of Mr Mandela’s daughter Zindzi and ordered the occupants to lie down in the entrance. One fired a shot and the family driver returned fire.
Armed car hijackings are common in South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world.
Police collected expended cartridge cases from the scene by security agents after the incident and a getaway car used by the attackers was later found outside Johannesburg.
Last month, Mr Mandela’s great-granddaughter Zenani, 13, died in a car crash on the way home from the World Cup opening concert. The driver of that car is due to appear in court on Monday to face homicide and drunk driving charges.
During the World Cup, Mr Mandela greeted soccer fans prior to the final match in a rare public appearance.
Driven in a small golf cart and seated alongside his wife, the smiling, warmly dressed Mr Mandela was welcomed by a thunderous mix of vuvuzelas and roars from the crowd. He shook hands with officials before leaving the field a few minutes later.