Obama on his way to Africa

The Air Force One has reportedly taken off from an airbase near Washington DC.

Official US presidential airplane, Air Force One. Picture: Stock.XCHNG

JOHANNESBURG - United States (US) President Barack Obama is officially on his way to Africa for a three-state tour.

The Air Force One has reportedly taken off from an airbase near Washington DC.

Obama will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

He will arrive in South Africa on Friday.

Speaking at media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the country was ready for what she called a historic visit.

Meanwhile, a Pretoria court dismissed an urgent application for Obama to be prosecuted for war crimes.

The Muslim Lawyers Association wanted the US president to face trial for his country's controversial use of drones.

However, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria said the case was not urgent and did not discuss the merits of the case.

There have also been threats of protests against Obama's visit, which begins with a meeting with President Jacob Zuma on Saturday morning.

Nkoana-Mashabane said there were no plans for Obama to visit ailing former president Nelson Mandela.