President Obama went to South Africa’s Robben Island on Sunday to tour the site where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years behind bars for fighting against apartheid, NPR reports.
White House photographer Pete Souza documented the visit, posting two photos to his Twitter account of Obama inside Mandela’s former cell, looking out from behind the thick bars.
In the visitors book for the island, the President wrote that he and his family were “deeply humbled to stand where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield.”
He went on to write that “no shackles or cells can match the strength of the human spirit.”
Nelson Mandela, the 94-year-old former president of South Africa, has remained hospitalized since June 8.
Margaret Talev, a White House correspondent for Bloomberg, took a photo of the President’s guest book entry:
— Margaret Talev (@margarettalev) June 30, 2013
President Obama tours the jail cell where Nelson Mandela was held on Robben Island, South Africa. pic.twitter.com/TEE6S9QBQy
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) June 30, 2013
This is the first trip to the prison for Obama as president. He had been there before, in 2006, while serving as a U.S. senator.
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