TODAY   |  June 29, 2013

Obama to meet with Mandela’s family

The White House said that out of "deference" to the wishes of Nelson Mandela's family, President Obama will not visit Mandela in the hospital, who is still in critical condition, and will instead offer support to his family. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>>> turning to south africa , president obama 's latest stop across south africa . today, the president and first lady will meet the family of nelson mandela . white house correspondent kristin welker is joining us from johannesburg. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning to you. the white house is saying out of deference to the wishes of nelson mandela 's family, the president will not visit the former south african president in the hospital. he called nelson mandela a personal hero. he was able to meet him back in 2005 when mr. obama was still a senator. he wrapped up a news conference with the current president. during that news conference, he compared mandela to george washington , take a listen.

>> one of the reasons george washington is our most admired president is because after two terms he said enough. i'm going back to being a citizen. nelson mandela , similarly, i think was able to recognize despite how revered he was that part of this transition process was to make sure that it was bigger than just one person, even one of the greatest people in history.

>> reporter: south africa 's president said that mandela is in critical, but stable condition. the first family will visit robin island where nelson mandel mandela was held for 17 of the nearly 30 years he was in prison. he was asked about immigration reform and passing the immigration bill . the president said the time is right. he called on the house to act. he believes they can get a bill passed before their august recess. as for the rest of the day in south africa , president obama will meet with youth at the university of johannesburg. there are protesters there that say they are opposed to the united states foreign policies . the president's final stop on this trip will be tanzania. back to you.

>> kristin, thanks.