President Obama Visits Nelson Mandela's Former Prison

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 30 2013 9:48 AM

President Obama Visits Nelson Mandela's Former Prison at Robben Island

Protesters gather outside the University of Cape Town in advance of President Barack Obama's speech this evening on June 30, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Photo by Michelly Rall/Getty Images

In South Africa on Sunday, President Barack Obama visited Robben Island, the now-defunct island prison where former South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars for fighting apartheid.

Obama met with Mandela's family on Saturday in Johannesburg as part of his own family's weeklong trip to Africa. He will speak to students at the University of Cape Town Sunday and is expected to unveil a $7 billion program to double the continent's access to electricity.

From Reuters:

Some protesters gathered outside the University of Cape Town ahead of Obama's speech, holding placards attacking U.S. foreign policy reading "Obama mass killer" and "End drone wars now".
The 94-year-old Mandela's faltering health has been a sombre backdrop to Obama's eight-day Africa trip. South Africa's government says his condition is "critical but stable".

Meanwhile in northern Africa, many worry that planned demonstrations against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on his first anniversary in office will turn violent. Two people, including American college student Andrew Pochter, were killed during a protest in Alexandria on Saturday.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.


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