Barack Obama has paid tribute to ailing Nelson Mandela during the US presidents 3 nation tour of Africa.
Obama had not expected to visit with his hero who was admitted to hospital three weeks ago struggling with a reoccurring lung infection, reported The Australian.
Whilst a long anticipated meeting between the two men who each are responsible for shattering racial boundaries will not be possible, Obama simply wanted to thank his hero for his legendary leadership.
“I think that the message we’ll want to deliver is not directly to him but to his family, is simply profound gratitude for his leadership all these years,” Obama said.
Turning 95 next month, Mr Mandela experienced a turn for the worse on the eve of Obama’s visit however has since stabilised.
“He is much better today,” said Mandela’s successor Jacob Zuma who cancelled a trip to neighbouring Mozambique upon learning of the former leaders deterioration.
The Australian has reported it is likely that Obama’s 3 day tour of the African continent will be permeated by reflections of the man who has been described as a “hero for the world”.
Sudden developments in Mr Mandela’s condition may alter the US president’s visit with The White House saying it will defer to the Mandela family and the South African authorities on any aspect of the visit.
“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 US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.
The Australian has more.
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