President Obama's South Africa visit met by protesters

Hundreds marched to the US embassy in Pretoria Friday to protest ahead of the impending visit to South Africa by President Barack Obama, who touched down in the country on Friday evening.

Protesters demonstrated against the Afghanistan war, America's policy regarding Cuba, drones and a host of other issues.

The protest took place near the hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated for a lung infection. Protesters burned an American flag during the rally.

"We had expectations of America's first black president. Knowing Africa's history, we expected more," Khomotso Makola, a 19-year-old law student, told Reuters. "He has come as a disappointment, I think Mandela too would be disappointed and feel let down," he added.

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The protest was organized by trade unions and the South African Communist Party. Protesters said they wanted to raise awareness of the human rights abuses by the Obama administration.

"Their administration's government is not welcome, and is being received with antagonism," campaign coordinator Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told the Associated Press.

"Therefore they'll have to rethink the standards by which they hold their government."

Obama was set to arrive in South Africa later on Friday with his family. Obama's visit to the continent is his first substantial visit since taking office. Some say the administration has neglected relations with African nations.

However, to provide some context, a new Pew Research Center poll showed that 72 percent of South Africans hold a favorable view of the United States, a higher percentage than in 2002 or 2008.

Around 74 percent of those polled were confident that Obama would do the right thing with regards to world affairs. Compare that to 32 percent who were confident of former President George W. Bush in 2008.