South Africa: First Lady and her girls meet the president

Michelle Obama paid a surprise visit to the former South African President Nelson Mandela yesterday, kicking off her trip to Africa by meeting one of the world's most revered leaders.

The US First Lady and her two daughters, Malia and Sasha, visited the 92-year-old at his home in Johannesburg after he asked to meet them when he discovered they were viewing documents nearby at Mr Mandela's foundation.

Pictures showed a smiling Mr Mandela sitting upright on a couch next to the Obamas. The meeting lasted 20 minutes. Later this week, Mrs Obama will visit Robben Island, where Mr Mandela was imprisoned.