South Africa is one of the countries a serious observer of world politics needs to watch. These days the drama is getting intense; unions around the country are striking at a time when discontent with slow economic progress for the majority is burning hot. The government is torn between populist rage and economic responsibility; frustrated by criticism and worried about losing power to more radical opponents, it is tempted to attack the free press. So far, South Africa has defied the skeptics and has avoided Zimbabwe’s fate. But the game is not over. Stay tuned.