South Africa: Death of a showpiece deal
Days before South African president Nelson Mandela lambasted "apartheid patterns of ownership" in a five hour speech to December's ANC congress, the final nails went into the coffin of South Africa's showpiece black empowerment deal.
The sale of Anglo-American's controlling interest in the mining group, JCI, was meant to mark a decisive transfer of prime assets from white control to black.
In the event, the saga of JCI's sale has ended with Anglo reacquiring the prize gold mining assets it sold in November 1996 while a rudderless JCI is seeking terms in a tie-up with UK-based Lonrho, once itself described as the "unacceptable face of capitalism".
So how did the deal turn full circle?
The charitable explanation is to blame the gold price, which fell to its lowest level in 18 years $281.15 an ounce by December 10 - a drop of more than $100 from its level at the point when JCI was sold a year earlier.
Under that pressure, JCI's share price has wilted from R54.50 at the time of the sale to a range of R18-20 early in December.
But the roots of the problem go back further, to the time of Anglo-American's initial announcement, in March 1994, of its intention to sell two parts of the orginal JCI to black empowerment groups.