First family touring Mandela's island prison

Associated Press + More

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — President Barack Obama is paying tribute to the man who inspired his political activism by taking his family on a tour of the island prison where anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela spent 18 years.

Obama's visit on Sunday to Robben Island comes as Mandela is hospitalized for a third week in critical condition. Obama was near Mandela's Pretoria hospital Saturday, but did not see him and instead met privately with Mandela's relatives.

Obama visited Robben Island when he was a senator but this time is bringing his family.

He says he's eager to teach them about Mandela's role in overcoming white racist rule, first as an activist and later as a president who forged a unity government with his former captors.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.