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Michelle Obama meets Nelson Mandela in South Africa

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michelle mandela 2.jpgFirst Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha with Nelson Mandela (Photo courtesy Nelson Mandela Foundation)

WASHINGTON---Former South African President Nelson Mandela--93 next month-- met Tuesday with First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, niece and nephew Leslie and Avery Leslie and her mother, Marian Robinson.

The call on Mandela took place in his home, after Mrs. Obama and her family visited the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory in Johannesburg. Mrs. Obama is in South Africa and Botswana through June 26.

Mrs. Obama met with Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, wife of South Africa President Jacob Zuma. She is one of his three wives.

She also greeted U.S. Embassy employees at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Donald Gips.


According to the White House:

"The First Lady, her two daughters, her niece and nephew, and Mrs Robinson met privately with President Mandela, his wife Graca Machel and about 15 members of their family for approximately 20 minutes at the Mandela's home. A White House photographer and a Mandela Foundation photographer were in the room for the beginning of the meeting to take photos and then left the room. A White House staffer entered at the end of the private meeting to escort the family out of the
room. Mrs. Obama also brought a nephew, Avery Robinson, 19, and niece, Leslie Robinson, 15, to Africa and they also visited with Mandela, said Semonti Stephens, deputy communications director for Mrs. Obama.

"The two, from Corvallis, Oregon, are children of Mrs. Obama's brother, Craig Robinson."

According to the Mandela Centre::

"Sello Hatang and Sahm Venter, the co-editors of the soon to be released book, Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Quotations Book, presented Mrs Obama with an advance copy.

"Hatang and the head of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Verne Harris, showed the First Lady a display of archival items housed in the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory including prison desk calendars, notebooks and draft letters. She was introduced to the senior archivist, Razia Saleh.

"Mrs Obama expressed appreciation for the display saying, "You are doing very important work."

"She then proceeded to Mr Mandela's house where she paid him a courtesy call."

CLICK HERE FOR MICHELLE OBAMA'S SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA SCHEDULE AND WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ON HER SOLO DIPLOMACY.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 21, 2011 1:00 PM.

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