Johannesburg - The ANC has called on groups holding anti-US protests during US President Barack Obama's visit to show restraint.
“It is our wish that the protests will themselves be carried out in a manner that reciprocally respects the rights of others who do not share the same view,” the African National Congress said on Friday.
It welcomed Obama to South Africa and thanked him for his warm tribute to critically-ill former president Nelson Mandela.
“As we welcome President Obama and his family to South Africa, we also thank them for their kind words in Senegal that our beloved icon and statesman comrade Nelson Mandela... is a hero of the world.
“We thank them too for their prayers and thoughts as we thank all other peoples of the globe who continue to keep Madiba in their thoughts during this time.”
Obama was due to land in South Africa later on Friday as part of a three-nation tour of Africa. A few hours before his arrival, protesters from various groups marched to the US embassy in Pretoria.
Some were Muslim activists protesting against US policies on the Middle East.
ANC ally, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, said it would protest during the visit about US foreign and trade policies.
The ANC call echoed statements by the presidency and Cabinet ministers to those who planned to protest during Obama's visit to do so peacefully. - Sapa