Michelle Obama meets Nelson Mandela in South Africa

First Lady Michelle Obama paid a visit to Nelson Mandela Tuesday on the first day of her visit to Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the White House said.Obama, accompanied by her mother and two daughters, visited the 92-year-old former South African President and anti-apartheid icon at his home in Johannesburg’s Houghton suburb. The Foundation described it as a courtesy call.

Photographs of the meeting released by the White House show a smiling First Lady and her daughters Sasha and Malia sitting next to Mandela on a couch at his home.

Mandela hasn’t been seen in public since he was hospitalized in January.

He paid a visit to his home village in May, the first since he spent several days in hospital in January for a respiratory disease. Since then he has received medical care at home.

Mandela retired from public life in June 2004 before his 86th birthday, telling his adoring compatriots: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” Since then he has rarely appeared in public and when he did, he appeared increasingly frail.

Mrs. Obama earlier visited the foundation offices, viewing a display of archival items including Mandela’s prison desk, calendars and notebooks.

The foundation quoted Obama as saying after viewing the display: “You are doing very important work.”

The U.S. First Lady arrived in South Africa late Monday and earlier met Nompumelelo Zuma, one of President Jacob Zuma‘s wives, in the capital Pretoria.

The visit by Mrs. Obama to South Africa and Botswana is her second official solo journey abroad with a goal of advancing U.S. policies on education, health, and democracy.


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – By Jeff Mason(Writing by Marius Bosch; Editing by Jan Harvey)


About Gay Today

Editor of Gay Today