South African President Jacob Zuma has snubbed the visiting Michelle Obama by sending his prisons minister to meet the first lady at the airport and failing to see her during her three-day stay.
Mr Zuma was out of the country for the first day of Mrs Obama's second solo trip abroad and although he returned on Monday night, aides said he was "not available" to meet her.
Instead, he arranged for Corrective Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to greet her on her arrival in Pretoria on Monday night, and one of his three wives, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma, met her briefly yesterday.
Mrs Obama, her daughters Sasha and Malia and her mother Marian Robinson, were also granted a rare audience with 92-year-old former president Nelson Mandela at his Johannesburg home.
It was Mrs Obama's first encounter with the icon, although her husband Barack Obama met Mr Mandela when in 2006.
Her visit is aimed at advancing her international youth engagement agenda. (© Daily Telegraph, London)