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.