Flat Earth: Stepping out

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The Independent Online
Mandela is a bachelor,

Mandela has no wife.

THESE words, sung last week in Natal by triumphant women supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party while taunting South Africa's President, may not be apt for much longer.

Nelson, according to the New York Times, has for some time been 'keeping company' with Graca Simbine Machel, 49, the widow of Samora Machel, the Mozambican president who died in a mysterious plane crash in 1986 that many blame on the South African government of that time. A mother, former Frelimo guerrilla and education minister, she's a well-rounded woman. Other gossip holds that the president has been seeing a 'young Coloured woman'. One thing seems clear: Nelson, who separated from his wife Winnie in 1992, is now playing the field.

But not every South African female heart beats a little faster for him. The women's magazine Fair Lady held a competition among its readers to choose the country's sexiest man. An actor and two television presenters occupied the first three positions; and the telephone speaking clock came fourth.

(Photograph omitted)