The arrest of Winnie Mandela was a clear manifestation of the tougher attitude that whites in South Africa are taking toward the nation's black majority. The action Saturday against the black activist followed the revision at the weekend of the original decree of May 1977 that banished her to the small rural town of Brandfort in the Orange Free State.
On Saturday, Minister of Law and Order Louis le Grange announced that restrictions on Mrs. Mandela had been relaxed. The government said that she could now live anywhere in South Africa outside of the Johannesburg and Roodepoort magisterial areas which embrace Soweto, the nation's largest black township. Mandela is the wife of jailed black nationalist leader Nelson Mandela.
Mandela has been living in Soweto since August in defiance of the order.
The question of whether Mandela would obey the new order forbidding her from living in Soweto, where she had been living before her banishment to Brandfort, was soon answered. She refused to leave her Soweto home, and was forcibly taken to a hotel just outside Johannesburg under police guard.
According to the police, Mandela left the hotel and returned to Soweto early Saturday. She was arrested on charges of contravening her new banning order and will appear in court soon. If found guilty, she could be imprisoned.