News / Africa

Obama Visits Mandela's Family

Two-year-old Precious Mali holds a picture of former South African President Nelson Mandela as well-wishers gather outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is being treated in Pretoria June 28, 2013.
Two-year-old Precious Mali holds a picture of former South African President Nelson Mandela as well-wishers gather outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is being treated in Pretoria June 28, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has met privately with family members of South Africa's ailing former president, Nelson Mandela.

Obama visited relatives of the anti-apartheid icon in Johannesburg on Saturday, shortly after Obama met with South African President Jacob Zuma.

Mandela was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 for a recurring lung infection. The White House says the Obamas will not meet with the 94-year-old former leader during their South Africa trip.

However, during a news conference with Zuma, President Obama extended words of sympathy to andela.

"Our thoughts and those  of Americans and people all around the world are with Nelson Mandela, and his family, and all of South Africans," Obama said. "The struggle here against apartheid, for freedom, Madiba's moral courage, this country's historic transition to a free and democratic nation has been a personal inspiration to me, it has been an inspiration to the world and it continues to be. "

Zuma said Saturday that Mandela remains in critical but stable condition. He expressed hope for the former president's recovery.

"The doctors who are attending to him are doing everything, and these are very excellent doctors who are dealing with him," Zuma said. "We place our hopes as well that they will do better. We hope that very soon he will be out of hospital.''

President Zuma also said Obama and Mandela have a shared place in history as the first black presidents of their countries.

"You both carry the dreams of millions of people in Africa and in the diaspora who were previously oppressed," said Zuma

Obama said Mandela recognized that a country's well-being is more important than a single person - a remark likely aimed at Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled his country with an iron fist for more than 30 years.

Mandela served only one term as South Africa's president before stepping down in 1999. He is a national hero in South Africa for his role in ending official racial discrimination and white-minority rule.  After spending 27 years in prison, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Obama's three-nation tour of Africa is aimed at promoting trade and investment. He came to South Africa after a stop in Senegal, and also will visit Tanzania before returning home on Tuesday.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs