Bar owned by Winnie Mandela is demolished trouble with the law

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The Independent Online

Police demolished a bar and restaurant in Soweto, near Johannesburg, that was run by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of Nelson Mandela, in the latest in a series of actions taken against the notorious firebrand.

Police superintendent Norman Ponnusamy said a sheriff, assisted by police and local authority staff, loaded the contents of the bar and shop into a truck and then destroyed the building, which is opposite her home, because it was not built "according to specifications".

In a country in which building regulations are rarely adhered to, yesterday's action will fuel claims by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela that she is being victimised by people who want to impress President Thabo Mbeki. She remains hugely popular in townships, despite having a lengthening roll of criminal accusations again her.

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, who is president of the African National Congress Women's League, had her premises raided last month for serving alcohol without a licence. She is on bail after being chargedlast week with using women's league stationery to defraud a bank of nearly £700,000.