U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama visits former South Africa president Nelson Mandela in June of 2011. (Google Images)
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama visits former South Africa president Nelson Mandela in June of 2011. (Google Images)

NBC News is reporting that ailing former South African President opened his eyes and smiled when he learned of U.S. President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit to South Africa.

Keir Simmons and Charlayne Hunter-Gault write:

“Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela ‘opened his eyes’ and smiled after being told of President Barack Obama’s imminent visit to South Africa, his daughter said Tuesday, adding to speculation that the two men might meet.

The 94-year-old remains in a critical condition, South Africa’s government said Tuesday as relatives gathered at his home for a family meeting that local media reports described as ‘urgent.’

The anti-apartheid campaigner and democracy icon has been in hospital with a lung infection since June 8. His condition was downgraded over the weekend from ‘serious but stable’ to ‘critical.’

President Obama is due to leave Wednesday for Senegal, his first stop in a tour of Africa, before heading to South Africa on Friday.”

Read more at NBCNews.com.

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