First Lady to honour Madiba

2011-06-16 08:39

US First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to honour the legacy of president Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid during her official visit to southern Africa next week.

For her second solo international trip, Obama has scheduled stops in South Africa and neighbouring Botswana – two growing democracies.

She is set to continue her work encouraging young people to get involved in national affairs. She will also promote education, health and wellness.

The previously announced June 20-26 trip begins on Monday in Johannesburg.

Obama will also stop in Pretoria and in Cape Town before flying to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

Her trip ends with a private family safari at a South African game reserve before she returns to Washington on June 27.

She will be accompanied by her daughters Malia and Sasha, her mother Marian Robinson, and her niece and nephew, Leslie and Avery Robinson.

White House officials said yesterday that her trip will help advance the President Barack Obama administration’s agenda in Africa.

Obama will spend most of her time in South Africa.

She is scheduled to meet with Mandela’s wife, Graça Machel, tour the Nelson Mandela Foundation, where his papers are stored, and visit the Apartheid Museum, which tells the story of the rise and fall of the now-abolished system of white-minority rule.

The First Lady also plans a ferry ride to Robben Island, where Mandela spent 18 of the 27 years for fighting apartheid.

Obama also will meet with Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, the wife of President Jacob Zuma, and with Botswana’s president, Ian Khama.

Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison on 11 February 1990 and was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994 after apartheid ended.

He left office in 1999 after one term and remains an outsized figure in South Africa although he has retired from public life.

A meeting between Obama and Mandela was not on the agenda, the White House released yesterday.

The former president, who is now 92, suffered an acute respiratory infection in late January.

Ben Rhodes, a deputy White House national security advisor, said Obama would “treasure any opportunity” to interact with Mandela.

Obama’s schedule also includes a meeting with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and a key figure in the struggle against apartheid.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.