JOHANNESBURG : Mandela Trial Resumes

Winnie Mandela's attorneys open their defense against charges of kidnaping and assault today in Rand Supreme Court here, and it appears that the anti-apartheid leader will be her own best witness.

The trial, which began Feb. 4, has seen damaging testimony from two alleged victims of a beating at Mandela's Soweto home in December, 1988. And the image of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress suffered a blow when a third key witness disappeared the night before he was to begin testimony.

Winnie Mandela claims that she was out of town when the assaults occurred, and her two co-defendants are expected to back her up. The first of those defendants, Mandela's driver John Morgan, takes the stand today.

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