Mandela fires wife again

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The Independent Online

of Associated Press

Johannesburg - For the second time in three weeks, President Nelson Mandela fired his wife from the cabinet yesterday following consultations with other political parties.

In a statement Mr Mandela said that he had reconsidered Winnie Mandela's appointment as a deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology in the light of her legal challenge to her dismissal, which was announced first on 27 March. The answer he came up with was the same: she must go.

"There is no requirement for reasons behind such decisions to be made public. Such a precedent would impact negatively on the ability of the executive to govern well and wisely," a statement said. "I would once again wish to thank Mrs Mandela for the service she has rendered to the government. I sincerely hope this action will help her to reflect and improve on her conduct in positions of leadership."

Although he did not cite reasons, Mr Mandela was known to be angry at his wife's insubordination, particularly in taking a trip in March to West Africa, in defiance of his orders.