Trial by Fire

Confronted by growing violence among blacks and stalled political talks with the government, Nelson Mandela received another dispiriting blow last week. His wife Winnie is to be tried with seven other people for kidnapping and assaulting four young militants on Dec. 29, 1988. One of the victims, a 14- year-old antigovernment activist named James Seipei, who used the nom de guerre "Stompie Moeketsi," was found stabbed to death eight days later. The four had fled the Mandela home after a dispute with members of the so-called Mandela United Football Club, who lived there.

Although the youths were abducted by members of...

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