Mrs Obama going to Soweto

2011-06-22 08:34

Johannesburg - After an unplanned meeting with Nelson Mandela at his Houghton home, US First Lady Michelle Obama will be in Soweto on Wednesday.

Obama is set to go to a number of historical sites in the area with her daughters, mother, niece and nephew.

The first lady met a healthy-looking Mandela on Tuesday - an unexpected encounter with the former South African president and anti-apartheid icon who has largely retired from public life.

A photo provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation showed the 92-year-old Mandela sitting on a couch next to Mrs Obama, pen in hand to sign an advance copy of his new book, Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Quotations Book.

Mandela sent word for meeting

Mandela was wearing one of his trademark shirts, richly patterned and buttoned at the neck.

Mrs Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian Robinson, were viewing some of Mandela's personal papers at his foundation on Tuesday when he sent word that he wanted to meet them at his home in a leafy Johannesburg neighbourhood.

It was the first meeting between America's first black first lady and the political prisoner who later became his country's first black president.

The American president's family spent about 20 minutes with Mandela and his wife, Graça Machel, who is a former first lady of Mozambique.

Mrs Obama's niece and nephew, Leslie Robinson, 15, and Avery Robinson, 19, who are travelling with her, were also invited to meet Mandela.

Mandela, who stepped down in 1999 after serving one term as president, is rarely seen in public anymore.

He is in fragile health and was briefly hospitalised in January with an acute respiratory infection.

President Obama, Mandela met before

Mrs Obama is travelling without President Barack Obama, who met Mandela in Washington in 2005 when he was a US senator.

Obama and Mandela have spoken by telephone several times since Obama took office, most recently last June, the White House said. The president also wrote a foreword for Mandela's book, Conversations with Myself.

The US first lady began a weeklong goodwill visit to South Africa and Botswana on Monday.

Earlier on Tuesday, she met with Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, a wife of South African President Jacob Zuma, who has three of them.

Mrs Obama and her family ended the day with a tour of the Apartheid Museum.

  • biskit - 2011-06-22 08:40

    This Lady is incredible! Here to restore Peace & Unity in trying times...I salute you Mrs Obama, Enjoy your stay!!

      Daemos1 - 2011-06-22 09:02


      biskit - 2011-06-22 09:28

      Well i dont see her running to you?

      TheTROLL - 2011-06-22 10:45

      Give her a real South African welcome, shoot in her direction, rob her, rape her, sell drugs to her and call her racist names.

      TheTROLL - 2011-06-22 10:46

      Oh and make corrupt arms deals with her.

      TheTROLL - 2011-06-22 11:27

      Get cops from Ficksburg to shoot in her direction.

  • mamakalami - 2011-06-22 08:51

    I am ecstatic Mrs Obama is in SA – but does the media really have to keep a two minute update of her travels? Let the woman go about her business – on the other hand – the media will milk every story till it’s dry in the name of profit.

      Daemos1 - 2011-06-22 09:02

      her presence here sells advertising space, news is a business, not a public service

  • Riaan - 2011-06-22 08:54

    Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. It seems she's just wasting the American taxpayer's money with her frivolous trips.

      DRYGOII - 2011-06-22 09:06

      Looks like America has plan/NEVER,never,never THEY DO ANYTHING FOR CHARITY!!!! Trouble is coming

      WC Republic - 2011-06-22 09:42

      I agree and given the huge US debt burden, from the American perspective those little personal visits are highly inappropriate

  • ?????? - 2011-06-22 08:55

    Hey Obama,go visit poor white areas and needy coloured townships as well.Poverty has no skin colour.Why does everyone just visit black areas?

      MkhontoKaShaka - 2011-06-22 09:03

      she's not visiting poor black areas you fool.

      morentebo - 2011-06-22 09:06

      good point

      ?????? - 2011-06-22 09:12

      @Shaka, What is Soweto then? Its a poor area with people benefitting from tenders and AA jobs,but theyre still poor in their heads.You cant skip to a higher social class just because u got a free tender or free job

      speekzin - 2011-06-22 09:35

      bcoz we are the only ones who are known to be poor and townships have the lowest service delivery ever, so please, let us have something for a change.

      ?????? - 2011-06-22 09:45

      @speekzin, But u already have everything.Does Sexwale and Ramaphosa billions sound familiar to you? If they steal money and u end up with dry bones election after election,then u deserve that,because u are voting for it,in other words,you approve of their theft,not so?

  • DRYGOII - 2011-06-22 09:05

    americans never do anything without thinking about gain!!!! If she is here-wait for trouble SOuthAfrica//////////

      MkhontoKaShaka - 2011-06-22 09:10

      i doubt.

      50something - 2011-06-22 09:41

      Her niece and nephew are really CIA agents and they are quietly looking for weapons of mass destruction - like tyres and pangas

      Mary - 2011-06-22 10:54

      You can't go to a negotiating table pointing a gun, but you've got to keep it over your shoulder."

  • MkhontoKaShaka - 2011-06-22 09:06

    She's beautiful. Her majesty, i salute. Nina yekan' umona!

      zulufox - 2011-06-22 09:40

      pho banomona yini abantu balana!! LOL ...

  • Liberated - 2011-06-22 09:08

    Why do we have to waste media space covering someone who is on a holiday covered up as a "Goodwill visit". Wonder if any of the american press will be interested in Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma if she ever makes a trip to USA. I dont think she will be given an audience with Michelle Obama.

  • Mdavu-zn - 2011-06-22 09:10

    NEWS24:-------> To me it seems as if now this Michelle have atracted all your attention. Seemingly as if now you've got no more other stories. Ja we appreciate to see such blessed and loving lady exploring all over our country BUT we've got enough stories about her from you. Just let us know only when she's leaving now. SALUTE!!

  • H-J - 2011-06-22 09:18

    Is she not visiting the graves of murdered farmers? Would take too long.

  • deb8641 - 2011-06-22 09:34

    Hmmmm, just wondering if Mrs Obama will acknowledge the fact that there are also white people in SA? After the "African Women in Leadership" of which footage was shown overseas, it seems that the camera's only picked showed non white women?

  • 50something - 2011-06-22 09:35

    Wonder if she will be visiting the Voortrekker Monument and the Vroue monument in Bloemfontein. Very selective in visiting "historical sites"

  • Suzan Magaela - 2011-06-22 09:41

    By the way where is this "African Women in leadership" being hosted? i wanna attend

  • Smindlo - 2011-06-22 09:47

    this is what pissses me off with this bloody americans, they come here and get to meet mandela when ever they feel like, yet we have to go through an army of incompetents to get to even catch a glimpse of him...screewww obama..mandela you can go hang

  • VELOCITY - 2011-06-22 09:50

    I wonder if she will be paying homage to the thousands of white farmers butchered by our black comrades here in SA. Guess not.

  • kolobe - 2011-06-22 09:54

    will she also be visiting our other nobel laureate de klerk?

      VELOCITY - 2011-06-22 10:00

      No she won't, he's white remember?

      kolobe - 2011-06-22 10:25

      or a non deserving laureate?

  • Razor - 2011-06-22 09:57

    lately almost every mention of nelson Mandela is preceded by "healthy". why do we need reasurence every single time? we are not in denial that the man will eventually die geez...

  • cuteface - 2011-06-22 10:19

    N.Smith What difference will she bring here, because her visit is just for fun and another thing shez a devil worshiper then i dont see the good of her visiting.

  • Totman - 2011-06-22 10:23

    The visit is based on being able to say she and her family could see Madiba while he was still alive and it is a right mark for American policy, visiting SA/Africa now and than. To come so far and not seeing him does not make sense to them. They now can also say there first lady was in SA this year. The possible positiveness in this is the international media that pick up some of our local stories while here.

  • FootOngoal - 2011-06-22 10:23

    Cool" The body Guards must be incredibly armed "

  • Kate - 2011-06-22 10:39

    News24 is home for bloody racists!

      Fantasia - 2011-06-22 11:11

      I agree

  • Nutsgp - 2011-06-22 10:52

    Soweto has got very rich history of South Africa, that is why Mrs Obama had to be there, and also, she has no clue what so ever about Cecil John Rhodes and Jan Van Riebeeck, and if she did had a tiny slightest clue about them she would be dying to kiss their statues...or is she...??

      Totman - 2011-06-22 11:18

      Oom Jan was fine. Go and read his history. A lot of things started changing from W. A van der Stell. On Rhodes I am 100% with you. He causes the begin of more current problems that we give him credit for.

  • mogomotsi.gomza - 2011-06-22 11:49

    I can't be proud of the American Woman to be in this Country neither event tomorrow, If South African Media would have be given a time to give thier Citizen first hand information it would have been better unlike now the so Mrs Obama wherever She go to She is only with Her private team even her the Media from Britain & America, If I was the President of this Country I wouldn't allow this thing to happened, President Jacob Zuma you must act like a leader been decisive where relevently...

  • Joe - 2011-06-22 13:26

    blacks: it's all about black for them that's why it's all about WHITE for me

  • chi chi - 2011-06-22 13:41

    i think is high time, young and old in SOUTH AFRICA need to learn how to praise people so that good things will happen here, we are 2 negative in a everything people do, we must start to learn how to take our future in our hand. our problem is that we don't want to be creative, we only waiting for our government to do all things for us. it will never happen and it will never work, just check in rest of African countries, no matter how had things is over there, they are still copping with life looking for a way out. let work and stop disturbing government

  • chi chi - 2011-06-22 13:47

    it must get to our head that no matter what we say or write we can just do a little, so we must just thank them

  • Nawe - 2011-06-22 14:18

    M.S Obama Soweto & the rest of the country loves u.

  • don.schuster2 - 2011-07-14 00:08

    Stay there! You are a disgrace to Black America with your Jackie K. wannabe fashions, vacations, and plantation truck garden! No wonder too many of us feel inferior to the whites!

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