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South African Police Detain Mandela's Daughter After Searching Home

February 28, 1987|Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Security police Friday briefly detained and interrogated the daughter of jailed black leader Nelson Mandela, reportedly after finding a pistol in the family's home in Soweto.

Police said Zinzi Mandela, 26, was released after several hours of questioning and declined to elaborate on the incident.

The Mandelas' lawyer, Ismail Ayob, said she was not charged but declined to comment on the pistol report.

A family friend said police had told Zinzi's mother, Winnie, that they had come "about the gun on top of Zinzi's cupboard." Winnie Mandela was surprised by the police statement, said the friend who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pistol Found

The friend quoted Winnie Mandela as saying a Soviet-made pistol was found after a search and the daughter was taken away.

"This is obviously part of a new campaign against me and it has begun escalating," she said after her daughter's release.

Ayob said that while he and the Mandelas were at the police station, 10 members of a youth soccer team sponsored by Winnie Mandela were arrested near the Mandela home.

He said the youths were still in police custody at midday, but he would not elaborate.

Neighbors said the youths were taken away after a clash with a rival group in which shots were fired and one team member was injured. Police said they had no information about such an incident.

Symbol of Opposition

Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, was convicted of sabotage against white-minority rule 1964 and is serving a life sentence. He remains the symbolic leader of black opposition.

In another development, six black activists who were maimed when hand grenades exploded prematurely in their hands were sentenced Friday to 16-month prison terms. A seventh defendant, who suffered severe brain damage, was given a suspended sentence in Pretoria Supreme Court.

The men, who had pleaded innocent, were accused of attempting to attack the homes of businessmen and policemen in Duduza, a black township east of Johannesburg, on June 25, 1985. They have been in custody since then.

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