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Obama: Mandela a beacon for the power of principle

Obama says global show of love for Nelson Mandela shows human yearning for dignity, justice

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U.S. President Barack Obama flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama, left, waves with South African President Jacob Zuma, second right, and his wife Tobeka Madiba Zuma, right, on the steps of Union Building in Pretoria, South Africa, Saturday June 29, 2013.

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PRETORIA, South Africa— President Barack Obama says former South African President Nelson Mandela continues to shine as a beacon of the power of principle and standing up for what’s right.

Obama says South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a free nation has been a personal inspiration and an inspiration to the world.

He says the recent outpouring of love for the critically ill anti-apartheid icon shows the deep yearning for justice and dignity in the human spirit. He says that yearning transcends class, race and country.

Obama spoke at a joint news conference with South African President Jacob Zuma. The White House says Obama will meet Saturday with Mandela’s family but won’t visit him in the hospital, in line with the family’s wishes.

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