Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's political power stemmed from the visceral connection that she was able to make between the lives of the oppressed black people, and her own.
South Africa, following its peaceful transition, occupied the moral high ground and could influence the agenda of intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations. Not anymore.
As South Africa marks Human Rights Day and the 20th anniversary of its constitution it's a good time to reflect on the problems it faces in making constitutional rights a reality.
Activists, health-care workers and scientists in South Africa were faced with a horrific epidemic but went on a ruthless crusade to turn it around.
Seasoned social rights activist Mark Heywood argues that the constitution provides South Africans with more rights and entitlements than they may be aware of.
Globally, the health community is moving to a point where there could be zero new HIV infections or deaths. But it has been a long road.
One of the remarkable achievements of South Africa's Constitutional Court has been its role in improving the quality of the internal democratic processes within the governing ANC.