March 20, 1996 in Nation/World

Judge Grants Mandela Divorce

Compiled From Wire Services

Saying he could see no likehood that President Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, would ever be reconciled, a judge here Tuesday granted Mandela’s petition for a divorce, ending his 38-year marriage which endured the persecution of apartheid only to founder after he was released from prison.

The ruling came after a day in which Winnie Mandela abruptly dismissed her lawyer and then, in a wavering voice, begged the court for a postponment. But the judge, unimpressed, dismissed her actions as yet another delaying tactic and ordered her to defend herself. She repeatedly refused.

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