South Africa's Defining Moment

The oppressive humidity in downtown Harare, occasionally relieved by bursts of rolling thunder, symbolizes the changing political weather in Zimbabwe. Having unleashed institutionalized violence in the countryside to win last year's election, President Robert Mugabe, in search of a fifth term in office, has now turned his guns — and thugs — on the cities and sprawling urban townships. No pillar of Zimbabwe's increasingly notional constitution — from the courts to the parliament to the press — is free from the pillage of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union — Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

What surprised me during a...

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