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TODAY   |  June 28, 2013

Obama heads to South Africa, may visit ailing Mandela

President Obama is heading to South Africa from Senegal as part of his African tour, where Nelson Mandela’s daughter says he might visit Mandela if doctors approve. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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>>> president obama is on his way to south africa . the latest stop on his african visit. that's where nelson mandela remains hospitalized. how is he doing and is there a chance that president obama will get to see him.

>> good morning. well, nelson mandela is still critical but the crowd behind me and the family have gained hope from the news that he is doing a little better and responding. meanwhile, president obama boarded a plane in senegal and there is talk about whether or not he would come here to the hospital to see nelson mandela . there is a remarkable picture of senator obama meeting nelson mandela in 2005 and nelson mandela 's daughter is say fg the doctors say it's okay then it could happen. the white house is saying they will defer to the wishes of the mandela family. the possibility of the president coming here to meet nelson mandela is just that, a possibility but certainly the president's focus will be on nelson mandela and his extraordinary life.