NATIONAL: (By Yasir Habib Khan)– Despite Unites States President Barack Obama has put his feet on the soil of South Africa but world remain focused to former South African leader, Nelson Mandela inching to death journey since his last hospitalization amid his family members’ dispute over likely funeral and last rites.
It’s unclear whether Barack Obama will make a private visit to Mr Mandela in hospital, but the US president says he doesn’t need a photo opportunity.
US President Barack Obama has insisted he will not press for a meeting with Nelson Mandela as he arrives in South Africa on an official visit.
The US leader has arrived in Johannesburg with his family. It comes after Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said the former South African president’s condition has shown “great improvement” over recent days.
Speaking outside the Pretoria hospital where the 94-year-old is being treated for a recurring lung infection, she said he remained “unwell”.
Before boarding Air Force One to Johannesburg, Mr Obama said: “I don’t need a photo op and the last thing I want to do is to be in any way obstrusive at a time when the family is concerned with Nelson Mandela’s condition.
Mr Obama is scheduled to meet with South African President Jacob Zuma.
Mr Obama, who is currently on a three-nation Africa tour, has led a chorus of support for the man he has dubbed a “hero for the world”. “The President will be speaking to the legacy of Nelson Mandela and that will be a significant part of our time in South Africa,” said deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes. “The President will treasure any opportunity he has to celebrate that legacy.”
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