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DIVORCE FINALLY IS LOOMING FOR MANDELA AND WINNIE

South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie are planning to obtain a formal divorce after being separated more than three years, a lawyer close to the president said Thursday.

"The matter (of divorce) is being dealt with sensitively and is being discussed between lawyers. The issue of a summons is not imminent," Ismail Ayob, Mandela's lawyer, told Reuters. "The president will not be making any comment," he added.Legal sources said it was unlikely that either party would need to appear in court for the divorce to go through. The lengthy separation would show there was no prospect of reconciliation.

Lawyers for Winnie Mandela, 60, said they had no comment on Ayob's remarks.

Mandela, 77, and Winnie, his second wife, were married in 1958. They separated formally in April 1992.

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