Mamphela Ramphele's departure from party politics is a sad end to a brilliant career – one that may be so again.
A failed bid by two strong women to form alliance and a 'post-Mandela' politics means a return to the status quo. With elections this spring, the public may be the real loser.
The combined groups were planning to challenge South Africa's ruling party in this year's elections.
Mamphela Ramphele, former companion of Steve Biko, is the first serious face of opposition against a liberation party that has ruled since 1994. National elections will be held this year.
This spring's elections will be a 'reckoning' for the nation, with opposition parties taking aim at the ruling ANC for failing to deliver on basic services for needy South Africans.