‘Obama understands Madiba needs rest’

2013-06-25 14:49

It is still unclear whether President Barack Obama would visit former president Nelson Mandela when he is in South Africa this week.

Asked whether Obama would be visiting Mandela in hospital, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Obama would be going to Robben Island and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Obama understood that Mandela needed space to rest, she told journalists during a briefing in Pretoria this afternoon.

Nkoana-Mashabane again confirmed that Obama’s visit would go ahead despite Mandela’s condition.

She said Madiba is a fighter and he would like to see government deliver services to people as it has done in the recent past.

“We will continue to work as he is teaching us to work. We will continue to pray and we love him,” she said.

Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa’s relations with the US were “frank and cordial”, and Zuma and Obama would be discussing a range of topics, including trade, peace and security, and humanitarian issues.

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