Michelle Obama visits District Six Museum

2011-06-23 15:46
Cape Town - Michelle Obama on Thursday toured the District Six Museum in Cape Town, after a long-planned ferry ride to Robben Island was cancelled.

The first lady's aides blamed the decision to abandon the half-hour ferry ride into the Atlantic Ocean on high winds that made the waters too rough to cross.

A tour of the closet-sized cell that housed former president Nelson Mandela for 18 years was expected to be an emotional high point of the trip. Aides said Obama was looking forward to the visit.

Instead, she and her family spent about an hour at the museum being led on a tour by the director and a former District Six resident.

The museum memorialises a sector of Cape Town that was established in 1867 as a racially mixed area but was forcibly segregated in 1965. Non-whites were removed to barren outlying areas and their homes in District Six were destroyed.

Obama has been travelling with several family members, including daughters Malia and Sasha; her mother, Marian Robinson; and a niece and nephew. President Barack Obama stayed in Washington.

The first lady and her entourage arrived in South Africa late on Monday and would fly to Botswana on Friday. The visits are her first to either country.

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