• Share
  • Read Later
Sources tell TIME that the estranged wife of South African President Nelson Mandela is about to step down from his cabinet because she is suspected of taking bribes. TIME South Africa correspondent Peter Hawthorne says Winnie Mandela is expected to step aside this weekend, on a temporary basis, while police investigate whether she was paid $21,000 to secure government contracts for a construction company. Hawthorne also says the African National Congress is planning to remove Mrs. Mandela as president of its Women's League. President Mandela today reaffirmed his commitment to rooting out corruption, even if that means sacking his wife, who maintains her innocence. The president said he will fire his wife only if authorities prove she abused her post. Hawthorne says Mrs. Mandela, convicted of kidnapping in 1991, has become a national embarrassment. He notes that since 1993, the president has spoken "hardly a word" to his wife, who also stands accused of abusing ANC funds, and appears to be in a "self-destruct mode."