South African President Nelson Mandela had his secretary carry a letter 100 yards to his wife's office today to informWinnie Mandelathat he was firing her from his Cabinet. Mrs. Mandela, who was deputy minister of arts and culture, had denounced the slow pace of her husband's reforms, had taken an unauthorized foreign trip and has been accused of taking bribes. But she remains president of the Women's League of the African National Congress and has not been ousted from Parliament. TIME South Africa correspondent Peter Hawthorne says the President had decided to fire his wife a number of days ago but did not take action until after Winnie chastised his government for spending thousands of rand on new tablecloths for ceremonies during Queen Elizabeth II's visit to South Africa last week. "I think that was probably the last straw," says Hawthorne.