President Obama Meets Mandela’s Family In South Africa

Source: Zaheer Cassim / USA Today

PRETORIA, South Africa – President Obama met privately Saturday with relatives of former South African president Nelson Mandela, the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon who has been hospitalized more than three weeks with a lung infection.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama referred to Mandela as “Madiba,” which is Mandela’s tribal name.

“I expressed my hope that Madiba draws peace and comfort from the time that he is spending with loved ones, and also expressed my heartfelt support for the entire family as they work through this difficult time,” Obama said. “I also reaffirmed the profound impact that his legacy has had in building a free South Africa, and in inspiring people around the world — including me.

Obama met with Mandela’s daughters Makaziwe (Maki) Mandela and Zindzi Mandela Hlongwane and eight of his grandchildren at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on Obama’s first day in South Africa after arriving from Senegal.

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