Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela was arrested twice in separate street protests Wednesay just one week after she was sentenced to six years in prison for kidnapping and assault, police said.

The wife of Nelson Mandela, deputy president of the African National Congress, was picked up early Wednesday for taking part in an ANC Women's League bid to obstruct rush-hour traffic, police Capt. Eugene Oppermann said. She went to court, was warned and released and promptly returned to the scene of her first arrest - with 120 members of the ANC Women's League - and sat down in the middle of the road.

Police arrived and threw what appeared to be low-powered stun or gas grenades into the crowd of seated women, before arresting Winnie Mandela for a second time.

"Don't pull me. What are you pulling me for?" she shouted as she was taken away.

She said police did not arrest white farmers when they recently obstructed traffic in Pretoria to protest land reforms and abolition of apartheid.

The ANC leadership Wednesday observed a day of fasting in support of 200 political prisoners on a hunger strike.

The arrest provoked a call from ANC activist Albertina Sisulu for women across South Africa to present themselves at police stations and demand to be arrested.

The ANC leadership Wednesday observed a day of fasting in support of 200 political prisoners on a hunger strike to protest their incarceration.

The government had agreed to release all political prisoners by April 30 but the ANC and President Frederik de Klerk differ on the definition of a political prisoner.