Mandela looking well - Michelle Obama

2011-06-22 22:13
US First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to a community service project centre in Soweto. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

US First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to a community service project centre in Soweto. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

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Johannesburg - US First Lady Michelle Obama said on Wednesday former South African president Nelson Mandela appeared strong and happy during a meeting with her and her family.

Obama, on a week-long trip to Africa, met the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon at his home on Tuesday.

Mandela has not been seen in public since he was hospitalised at the start of the year, suffering from a respiratory disease.

"He looked strong, he looked good, he looked...happy. And that was good to see," Obama told reporters travelling with her.

White House officials had hoped Obama would be able to see Mandela during her trip, but the meeting was not confirmed until roughly an hour before it happened.

Mandela met President Barack Obama in Washington in 2005 when he was a senator.

Mandela visited his home village in May, the first time since he spent several days in the hospital in January. Since then he has received medical care at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg. 

Michelle Obama brought her daughters, Sasha and Malia, along with her mother and a niece and nephew for the visit, which included other members of Mandela's family.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  michelle obama  |  barack obama  |  johannesburg

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