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Anti-Obama protesters in South Africa dispersed by force

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:33 p.m.
AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOTS Protestors hold posters mocking US President Barak Obama during a demonstration against his visit in South Africa on June 29, 2013 in Soweto. US President Barack Obama Saturday decided not to visit his political hero Nelson Mandela in hospital to preserve the 'peace and comfort' of the anti-apartheid legend, whose family he will meet to offer prayers instead. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOEALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG — Police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade into a crowd of hundreds of protesters before President Obama arrived at the University of Johannesburg on Saturday.

The crowd quickly scattered as police officers walked up the street pushing protesters away with shotguns.

“I feel my rights are being infringed,” said 24-year-old Bilaal Qibr, who was at the protest. “We can't protest anymore. Personally, I feel like this is an extension of the U.S.”

Protests were planned at the university over Obama's visit and the news that he was to receive an honorary doctorate on Saturday.

“They don't believe Obama deserves that award. The U.S. position and its relationship with Israel has created a problem,” said Levy Masete, president of the Student Representative Council. “The students say, ‘Stop the oppression in Palestine,' and you want to honor this man who is making this oppression possible.”

Obama dismissed suggestions that he was only investing time in Africa's economy as a response to the increased focus on the continent by China. He called on Africans to make sure that countries seeking an economic foothold on the continent are making a “good deal for Africa.”

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