Obama heads to Africa amid Mandela gloom

2013-06-26 15:24

Washington — President Barack Obama is heading to Africa, and the health of former South African leader Nelson Mandela is hanging over the planned weeklong visit.

The first family departed Wednesday for Senegal. Other stops are scheduled for South Africa and Tanzania.

Obama has visited sub-Saharan Africa once before as president, and that was a brief stop in Ghana in 2009.

Mandela is hospitalised in South Africa and surrounded by family. White House advisers say they will defer to the anti-apartheid leader's relatives on whether he's up for a visit from Obama.

Missing from Obama's itinerary is Kenya, his father's birthplace and home to many of his relatives. Kenya's new president is facing war crimes charges, making it an awkward time for a US president to visit.

  • Vessela Hobson - 2013-06-26 15:32

    what's with the horrible, up the chin photo?

  • Zinhle Delwa - 2013-06-26 15:35

    This must be the worse article i ever read o_O

      Alan Smith - 2013-06-26 15:58

      This morning I took a dump amid the Mandela gloom. About as newsworthy as this article from News 24.

  • Bheki Dladla - 2013-06-26 15:36

    GEEZ!!! news24 and some their head-lines lol. anyway moving right along.......

  • Andrew Selous - 2013-06-26 15:36

    He might have to stay for a funeral or give his condolences in person.

  • tednhet - 2013-06-26 15:37

    Unfortunately, I don't think Madiba will be around when Obama arrives here.:(

      Siphathise Sir-Vic Putuzo-Jnr - 2013-06-26 15:53

      i fully agree wth u*

  • Kevin Swazi - 2013-06-26 15:38

    Hope he packed his black suit!

  • Michael Smith - 2013-06-26 15:42

    Maybe Mr Obama can Give Zuma a clap against the head to get him to wake-up!

      tednhet - 2013-06-26 15:47

      What type of clap do you think he will get.

      Andrew Selous - 2013-06-26 15:50

      @ted,a harderrrr klap.

      Heidie van Dyk - 2013-06-26 16:04

      Michael, that is the problem the old fart is always asleep. Not even a clap will wake him up.

  • Kevin Swazi - 2013-06-26 15:45

    Hope he packed his black suit!

  • Shaun Cousins - 2013-06-26 15:46

    However, in what is being reported internationally as a clear snub, on her Monday arrival South African President Jacob Zuma sent his minister of prisons to greet the American first lady. So showerhead is this going to happen again like in 2011

  • Mario Haddon - 2013-06-26 15:46

    ghana is in West Africa not sub saharan!

  • Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-06-26 15:48

    And his arrival will just add to the gloom.

      Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-06-26 16:23

      Are you blind and deaf or just stupid Beannie?

  • Siphathise Sir-Vic Putuzo-Jnr - 2013-06-26 16:00

    i hope he'll be coming wth many bodyguards to protect him frm angry people who dont him in the country*

      Carina Welman - 2013-06-26 16:15

      And why the hell can he not come and visit? Your bloody president visits his buddies in other countries all the time. Twat!

  • Mark Royeppen - 2013-06-26 16:01

    Guess the welcoming song will be ' Daar kom Barack Obama' ;-)

      Anti-PC - 2013-06-26 16:11

      LOL Mark, very sharp!!!!:-)

      Mark Royeppen - 2013-06-26 16:20

      Lets hope he aint heading for Cape Town... I heard that landing is sh*t there...especially with those poo protesters ... ;-)

  • Siphathise Sir-Vic Putuzo-Jnr - 2013-06-26 16:01

    i hope he'll be coming wth many bodyguards to protect him frm angry people who don want him in the country*

  • Se-Atile Mmereki - 2013-06-26 16:04

    The movies have romanticized Airforce One so much, it's been a fantasy of mine to see it in real life. I know some people will say "it's just a plane", it's ok, we all have a weird fantasy or two.

  • mark1 - 2013-06-26 16:18

  • Rethabile Jujuspa Mothamo - 2013-06-26 16:43

    it s strange dat whte house wth madiba s family on wtha he should visit

  • Molefi Moeletsi Kenneth - 2013-06-26 16:44


  • Midnite Man - 2013-06-26 17:32

    Barack Obama is the greatest man on this planet-what the people of africa need right now is hope and Obama's visit will give it to them. africa is a great country and Barack Obama's visit will make the people of africa feel good about themselves again.

  • Junior Pillay - 2013-06-26 17:50

    This is Obama's second term in office,he chooses to visit SA while Madiba is on his final lap,uh,what the hell,Ex Pres.Bill a man for all seasons.

  • Gift Chamgwela Chinyati - 2013-06-26 19:27

    welcome thou in our hard times

  • Komalan Pather - 2013-06-26 19:30

    obama is coming at the right time to south africa. he is the young mandela that we want to see here. its also as if obama is coming as the death angel presiding over this gloomy time.i predict mandela will die peacefully while obama is still here or just leaves. comforting thought...obama is the next chain reaction...

  • Sipho Cebo Nhlanzi - 2013-06-26 21:39

    Welcome to SA President Obama, pls give out some lessons to JZ.. doubt he'd learn anything though.

      Brad Chad Jensen - 2013-06-27 01:39

      No, Mr Zuma will also teach him how to deal with the ladies and even more....

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