Because it's a blend of political influences the transition it is facing has, inevitably, had an existential effect on the Democratic Alliance.
Despite its endurance, the Democratic Alliance still hasn't found a firm foothold to grow the votes in South Africa's changing political landscape.
Community radio stations have thrown themselves into the political discussion with gusto.
The black middle class are angry at their exclusion from mainstream economic activity.
South Africa's official opposition, the Democratic Alliance needs to face its racial dilemmas.
Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations provide a chance to debunk the lie that he sold out black South Africans.
Unexpressed racism may be even more dangerous if it's left lurking below the surface.
The Democratic Alliance is potentially in a good position to challenge the ANC, which governs South Africa, for power.
Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane's takeover of responsibility for tackling the Western Cape water crisis blurs party and state lines.
Instead of ignoring his accusers, South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa entertained them, tried to silence them through court, and then revealed a long-past affair of little interest.
South African President Jacob Zuma, should be worried about the outcome of the no confidence vote in him. His legitimacy in the ANC and the country has plummeted.
With the ANC in crisis, the Democratic Alliance seemed to be getting it right. But then came a flurry of inexplicably tactless tweets.
Democracy is in a parlous state in many countries in southern Africa. Autocrats hold onto power, while electorates have little to choose from at the polls.
For Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to invite black South Africans, in a casual manner, to differentiate the legacies of colonialism is asking a lot.
Here are five political leaders from around the world who are emerging as significant talents and possible contenders for influence in 2017 and beyond.
The ruling ANC has been seriously challenged by the Democratic Alliance, but South African politics is still about white privilege and black exclusion.
Liberalism is a dirty word for the majority of South Africans. This goes back to early colonialism. Liberals opposed apartheid but not the close relationship between capitalism and apartheid.
With the election of Mmusi Maimane as leader, the Democratic Alliance, like the ANC, calculated that a black rather than coloured leader is needed for victory at the national level.