Ever calm and thoughtful, Pansy Tlakula was a palate cleanser in South Africa's often foul-tasting political banquet.
The possibility of her suspension from the Electoral Commission over a failure to disclose conflict of interest in a lease agreement would have enormous repercussions on the political landscape: the loss of a steadfast hand on the tiller of next year's elections.
I'm often asked if I'm ever driven to tears by our politics, and if so which emotion I feel at the time. There were plenty of occasions when the tears came from frustration, there've been others, more recently, when I simply felt fed up with an untenable and wrong situation.
And there've been others when the tears come from laughter. But today, the tears are coming from disappointment. We have very few people in our public life we trust completely, who we must trust completely. And when one of them falls, we're all that much weaker for it.
I've known Pansy Tlakula for many years. She may not know this of course, but I've been one of those people who have bugged her for a sound bite, called her at some unearthly hour of the morning begging...