Obamas to tour Robben Island

2013-06-30 10:41
Robben Island (Picture: AFP)

Robben Island (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Obama pays tribute to Mandela

2013-06-30 09:47

US President Obama paid tribute to Nelson Mandela at a gala dinner in Pretoria by reciting the words from the famous Invictus poem. Watch. WATCH

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - US President Barack Obama will pay tribute on Sunday to the man who inspired his political activism by taking his family on a tour of the island prison where anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela spent 18 years confined to a tiny cell.

Obama's visit to Robben Island comes as Mandela is hospitalised for a third week in critical condition. Obama was near Mandela's Pretoria hospital on Saturday, but did not see him due to the family's wishes and instead met privately with Mandela's relatives.

His schedule on Sunday begins with a flight to Cape Town and then a helicopter ride to the museum on Robben Island.

Obama visited when he was a senator but this time is bringing his family. He said he's eager to teach them about Mandela's role in overcoming white racist rule, first as an activist and later as a president who forged a unity government with his former captors.

'Great honour'

He told reporters on Saturday he wants to "help them to understand not only how those lessons apply to their own lives but also to their responsibilities in the future as citizens of the world, that's a great privilege and a great honour".

Obama, who has spoken movingly about Mandela throughout his trip to Africa, praised the former South African president's "moral courage" during remarks from the grand Union Buildings where Mandela was inaugurated as his nation's first black president.

"We as leaders occupy these spaces temporarily and we don't get so deluded that we think the fate of our country doesn't depend on how long we stay in office," Obama said during a news conference with South African President Jacob Zuma.

Obama's ascent to the White House has drawn inevitable comparisons to Mandela. Both are their nations' first black presidents, symbols of racial barrier breaking and winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. And Obama attended his first political rally while a 19-year-old college student protesting apartheid.

Zuma said Obama and Mandela "both carry the dreams of millions of people in Africa and in the Diaspora who were previously oppressed".

Mandela's legacy also will be a prominent theme throughout Obama's speech later Sunday at the University of Cape Town, said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. The president will emphasis "the ability for societies to change," Rhodes said, along with the need for democratic development and empowering young people.

'Up to the leaders in Africa'

Rhodes said Mandela's vision was always going to feature prominently in the speech given that the address will follow Obama's visit to Robben Island, the prison where Mandela was confined for 18 years. But the former South African leader's deteriorating health "certainly puts a finer point on just how much we can't take for granted what Nelson Mandela did."

Obama is also expected to emphasise how Mandela's democratic vision is hardly complete. While there has been progress here that "nobody could have possibly imagined," Rhodes said, millions of people on the continent still live in poverty and governments still struggle with corruption.

Harkening back to a prominent theme from his speech in Ghana in 2009, Obama will emphasise that Africans must take much of the responsibility for finishing the work started by Mandela and his contemporaries.

"The progress that Africa has made opens new doors, but frankly, it's up to the leaders in Africa and particularly young people to make sure that they're walking through those doors of opportunity," Rhodes said.

Obama will speak at the University of Cape Town nearly 50 years after Robert F Kennedy delivered his famous "Ripple of Hope" speech from the school. Kennedy spoke in Cape Town two years after Mandela was sentenced to life in prison.

- AP
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  jacob zuma  |  barack obama  |  cape town  |  obama in africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
39 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Macassar 16:35 PM
Road name: N2 Outbound

ACCIDENT in the left lane after the Engen One-Stop garage - HEAVY DELAYS from the R310 Baden Powell Drive

Montague Gardens 16:29 PM
Road name: Bosmansdam Road Eastbound

DELAYS between Koeberg Road and the N7 Highway

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

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.