In April of 1994, South Africa held its first-ever democratic election-a profound step in a promising new direction. Whether that step will in fact lead to full democracy is still in question. Renowned for a legacy of internal, ethnic turmoil born of apartheid, and for years of destabilizing its neighbors in one of the more violent and unstable regions of the world, South Africa's future is a key variable for both regional stability and a more just and stable international order. At present, certain characteristics have emerged from South Africa's ongoing democratic transition that, despite the promise of apartheid's historic dismantlement, are less than reassuring. Political and economic exigencies have made it difficult for South Africa to purge itself fully of the hard-line security structure and extensive military industrial capabilities of the former apartheid regime, although the Mandela government has made promising moves in both areas. Much remains to be done, however, if the "new" South Africa is to contribute to both regional and global stability.