A magistrate today freed black activist Winnie Mandela on $190 bail after she defied a government order banning her from Johannesburg and the nearby black township of Soweto, but her lawyers said later she appeared determined to return to her home in Soweto.
Today’s hearing was the second time in nine days that Mandela was freed by a court after being arrested for violating the government order. She has had a home in Soweto for years.
“We’re back to square one,” said Prakesh Diar, one of her lawyers, after hours of negotiations with state lawyers this evening.
“It appears we’re going for round three now. She is a very determined woman and it appears at this stage she will at least attempt to go back to her home in Soweto.”
Diar had no word on when Mandela might try to go home.
Her next court appearance on the charge was scheduled for Jan. 22, the same day she is to appear on the original charges of violating the banning order.
Mandela smiled and waved to friends after the hearing. With lawyers and supporters, she drove to Kagiso, a nearby black township that is not barred to her under the government order, to “discuss her next move,” one of the lawyers said.
She went into the home of a friend, Aubrey Mokoena. About 400 young blacks rallied around the house, raised black-power salutes and chanted in Xhosa, “Winnie Mandela, Winnie Mandela is the mother to us.”
Mandela, 50, was arrested Monday in a fracas with security police on a highway near the Johannesburg airport as she headed for her home in Soweto.
In another development, Police Minister Louis le Grange today extended for six months an order prohibiting 74 political and civil rights bodies from holding indoor meetings.
Among the affected groups are the Release Mandela Committee, the radical black Azanian Peoples Organization and the United Democratic Front, South Africa’s largest multiracial anti-apartheid movement.