Winnie Mandela Defies Ban Again, Is Arrested : South African Apartheid Foe Dragged From Her Soweto Home for 2nd Day; Charges Expected

Times Staff Writer

Winnie Mandela, the wife of imprisoned black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela, was arrested by South African security police at her home here Sunday on charges of violating a new government order that bars her from the Johannesburg area.

Dragged from her home for the second time in two days, Mandela, 49, was held overnight at the small town of Krugersdorp, 20 miles northwest of here, and is expected to be formally charged today with violating the order that prohibits her from entering the Johannesburg or adjacent Roodeport magisterial districts.

Risking Prison Term

Risking a prison sentence of up to three years, she appears determined to force the government of President Pieter W. Botha to act publicly, in the glare of domestic and international attention, in its attempts to silence her and halt her efforts to rally the country's black majority in the battle against apartheid.

"I am not going to move from here because this is my home," she told reporters before the police came. "They will have to come and arrest me."

When the security police came, warning that she would be arrested if she did not immediately leave the small, red-brick house, she again refused, with a burst of anger that sent some of the burly policemen scurrying for cover, according to family members and friends who were present inside the house.

On Saturday, police forcibly evicted Mandela from her house here under the new government order, took her under armed guard to a hotel near the city's major airport and ordered her to leave. But she returned to Soweto in the middle of the night, in defiance of the new restrictions.

Won't Be 'Accomplice'

Mandela said that her home is in Soweto, this black satellite city of 2 million outside Johannesburg, and that she will not return to the small farming town of Brandfort in Orange Free State, 225 miles south of here, where the government exiled her in 1977. Under the new order, she is not required to live in Brandfort but may not live in Soweto.

"I will not become an accomplice in my own murder," she told the police, recalling several right-wing attacks on her in Brandfort, including the firebombing of her home and clinic there in August. "If you send me back there, it is to die, to be murdered, and I will not go."

The police said they did not come to argue but to arrest her for violating her "banning order," as the restrictions are known here. And after giving her half an hour to change clothes and pack a bag, according to family members and lawyers who were present, they took her to jail, one policeman on each side pushing her out of the house, across the small yard and into a waiting car.

Armored cars sealed off the street, according to residents of the middle-class Orlando neighborhood, and heavily armed riot police formed a cordon around the house as she was taken away.

Col. Jaap Venter, a police spokesman in Pretoria, said Mandela's refusal to obey the government order, issued under the country's severe internal security laws, left the police no alternative but to arrest her. The police had tried, but failed, to persuade her to accept the order provisionally and to challenge it through legal channels later, he said.

Six Journalists Arrested

The state had also offered--but she had refused--to pay all her resettlement costs, including that of finding accommodations outside Soweto and her hotel bills in the meantime.

Police outside the Mandela home on Sunday arrested six foreign and local journalists, including the correspondents of the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Washington Post, apparently to prevent them from witnessing Mandela's arrest. They were held briefly and then released, but later a police spokesman said they may be charged with violating restrictions on reporting unrest in such areas as Soweto, where a state of emergency has been declared.

Mandela said she had been treated "absolutely violently" on Saturday during the first eviction, had sprained her ankle and was badly bruised. She suffers from a heart ailment, and friends said they fear that further scenes such as those of Saturday and Sunday could lead to a heart attack.

Police Threats Reported

While she was driven around for several hours Saturday before being dropped at an airport hotel with orders to leave Johannesburg, she said, police repeatedly threatened her if she did not reduce her anti-apartheid activities.

"They insinuated time without number that I knew what had happened to opponents of apartheid like myself," she said, referring to the many deaths of anti-apartheid activists--some in police detention but others in mysterious murders that remain unsolved.

"I was aware that they were threatening me with my life. I was completely at their mercy."

Taken to the home of one of her lawyers in Laudium, an Indian township outside Pretoria, she consulted with her political and legal advisers Saturday night, rested for a few hours and then returned to Soweto to challenge the government.

"I am back here in my house with the full knowledge--which they (the police) have told me--that if they ever find I have set foot in the house, they will eliminate me," Mandela told reporters Sunday morning.

'I Am No Different'

"But I am no different from those who have paid the supreme price in the sacrosanct cause that we are fighting for."

The new government order, signed on Friday by Louis le Grange, the minister of law and order, in fact relaxes many of the previous restrictions on Mandela's activities, allowing her to move out of Brandfort at will, ending requirements that she report regularly to the police and permitting her to attend social, but not overtly political, gatherings once again.

But it specifically bars her from Johannesburg and Soweto, where she has a large and growing constituency among blacks--who call her the "mother of the nation." And it continues to prohibit political activities, including participation in rallies, involvement with anti-government organizations, contacts with other "banned" leaders and quotation in the South African news media.

More Precise Restrictions

The government's intention, South African political observers theorized, was to ease itself out of a situation in which Mandela was almost daily flouting the restrictions placed upon her under the old order, but then to impose a new one, more precise in focus and much simpler to enforce, that would get her out of Soweto.

She has lived in the Mandela family home in Soweto since August, when her house and clinic in Brandfort were firebombed in an attack that she has blamed on security police. Anger over that attack led her to leave Brandfort, friends say, and to resume a major activist role in the campaign against South Africa's system of racial separation and minority white rule.

Despite prohibitions on virtually all political activities, she has given a series of news conferences denouncing the government, and two weeks ago she spoke to 4,000 people after a funeral for victims of the unrest at Mamelodi, outside Pretoria; it was the first time she had addressed such a rally in 25 years.

Suspension of Sentence

After her arrest Sunday, speculation among black political analysts here was that the government would prosecute Mandela for violating the restrictions and seek the maximum sentence--probably three years, depending on precise charges--but then agree to its suspension for a period of time so that it would become a deterrent to further violations.

"Her lawyers, her advisers will tell her that she can do more good outside prison than by going in for two or three years," one black political observer here predicted Sunday. "She is the main conduit between Nelson and the outside world, and that is too important to jeopardize in these times."

After Nelson Mandela, 67, who is serving a life sentence for sabotage, underwent prostate surgery last month, there was speculation that the government was looking for a way to release him, and Winnie Mandela flew back and forth almost daily between Johannesburg and Cape Town as negotiations were conducted in his hospital room.

In the end, he again refused the government's terms--exile in Zambia, it was reported--and insisted that he and other political prisoners be released unconditionally.

Two Killed in Rioting

Police headquarters in Pretoria, meanwhile, reported that two blacks were killed in rioting overnight Saturday. One man was apparently shot to death by police in clashes between police and youths in the Moutse tribal district, 60 miles northeast of Pretoria, where residents are resisting incorporation into a black homeland. In northern Cape province, the father of a black policeman was hacked to death with machetes and his body then burned when a mob of blacks attacked his house in Philipstown; his son shot and seriously wounded a black woman in the incident.

At Mamelodi, police and troops sealed the township Sunday morning, preventing non-residents from attending the funeral for two more victims--one of them an infant suffocated by police tear gas--of the continuing unrest there.

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