US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Nelson Mandela on Monday at his rural homestead where South Africa’s first black president is living out retirement.
Her private lunch with the Nobel Peace Prize winner was the first event of her South African visit, coming midway through a tour across the continent.
The two chatted in his home ahead of the meal, an honour that few receive as Mandela’s health has become more fragile with age.
“Madiba not only represents all that there is great in the world, but (is someone) for whom to the secretary is a close friend… somebody who she has learned a lot from,” a US official said ahead of the meeting.
“I think she is very excited about that.”
Last month he met Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, on the eve of his 94th birthday.