Since being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in April last year, Dr Mario Oriani-Ambrosini has suffered immensely, and in the early hours of Saturday morning, could endure the agony no more. He took his own life, bringing to an end a colourful career. A myriad of tributes poured in, praising his life’s work. But Oriani-Ambrosini was also a controversial character in South African politics, which many people prefer not to speak of now. The passage of time can purify many political legacies but it can also destroy outstanding careers. With the ageing of a generation of eminent political leaders, how will and how should they be remembered? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.