Democratic Alliance (DA) provincial heavyweight and member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, Veliswa Mvenya, has resigned from the party.
Mvenya's resignation comes on the heels of that of former premier Nosimo Balindlela, who left the party on Monday to rejoin the African National Congress (ANC).
Mvenya, 49, has been with the DA for more than 18 years, but has battled to grow her leadership role within the party. She became a member of the provincial legislature in 2004 and remained there until her resignation.
Speaking to News24 on Friday Mvenya said her resignation had nothing to do with Balindlela leaving.
"I am taking a break from politics for a while. I have been with the DA for 18 years and have done my part. I am satisfied that I have made difference," she said.
Mvenya's name was raised in court earlier this week, in a defamation case that DA federal chairperson Athol Trollip had brought against DA activist Nontuthuzelo Jack.
Jack is facing a charge of crimen injuria after she alleged that Trollip had tried to bribe her to dig up dirt on Mvenya.
The DA's James Selfe testified that he had already been tasked by the party's senior management to investigate the allegations raised by Mvenya against Trollip when the bribery claims were made.
Selfe admitted in court that Mvenya and Trollip had bumped heads.
Jack's lawyer, Eric Skepe, said he would be calling Mvenya as a defence witness.
Mvenya said that she saw that as separate to the DA, and would be in court as a witness.
"The case has nothing to do with me, other than that my name was used," she said.
In 2014 Mvenya was appointed DA Provincial leader, beating fellow EC MPL Edmund Van Vuuren.
Mvenya again put her hand up to lead the province in 2017, but lost to Nqaba Banga.
Sad to be leaving legislature
She also campaigned for the position of national leader for the DA Women's Network earlier this year, but lost.
Mvenya said she did not see the losses as a negative, but merely part of her growth.
"I am grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me over the years and for the opportunity to serve the communities of this province," she said.
Mvenya said she was sad to be leaving the legislature, where she had built relationships with all representatives of all political parties, as well as administrative staff.
"I am looking forward to spending some time with my family and enjoy myself," she said.
Banga confirmed her resignation on Friday, saying Mvenya had informed the party that she is taking a break from politics.
"We respect Ms Mvenya’s decision and thank her for her 18 years of public service to the DA, the people of the Eastern Cape and South Africa," he said.