In Brief

Media treatment of Mandela 'racist' says angry daughter

Press intrusion condemned by Makaziwe Mandela as Obama arrives in South Africa

BARACK OBAMA travels to South Africa today and the question on everyone's lips is whether he will meet his hero, Nelson Mandela.

The 94-year-old former South African president remains in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital and the US president has stated that he will be guided by the wishes of Mandela's family over a visit.

The Daily Telegraph says Obama's visit is "overshadowed" by Mandela's poor health and describes his visit to SA as "a tribute to the anti-apartheid leader". It speculates that Obama might visit Mandela's bedside this evening because he has no official events scheduled until tomorrow.

During his time in the country Obama will visit Robben Island, where Mandela spent years in prison.

Meanwhile, Mandela's daughter Makaziwe has lashed out at the media over its intense coverage of her father's health and accused reporters of being disrespectful to the Mandela clan.

She told South Africa's state broadcaster SABC that journalists had made a "nuisance" of themselves at the hospital where her father is being treated and contrasted their behaviour with the respect afforded Margaret Thatcher in her final days.

"There's sort of a racist element with many of the foreign media, where they just cross boundaries," Makaziwe said. "It's truly like vultures waiting when the lion has devoured the buffalo, waiting there for the last of the carcass."

Makaziwe and 19 other members of the Mandela family made an application to a court today to move the remains of three of Mandela's children, and of two other people believed to be his siblings, from Mvezo to Qunu, the family's ancestral home. The remains were exhumed and reburied in Mvezo – Mandela's birthplace – by the statesman's grandson Mandla, an issue which has caused a rift in the family.

South African newspaper The Herald says Mandla has indicated he will not oppose the application to return the remains to Qunu.

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