Former KwaZulu-Natal Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Zwakele Mncwango has resigned as the party's chief whip in the provincial legislature and member of the legislature.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mncwango said he tendered his resignation to the DA on Tuesday, with his tenure as chief whip coming to an end on 15 October.
"This decision is predicated on factors that I have pondered on over a period of time in terms of my role in politics.
"I did not come to this decision easily. In reaching this decision, I engaged in much soul-searching and reflection over a period of time and decided that I had to evaluate how much more of a contribution I could make going forward," he said.
Mncwango questioned whether the KwaZulu-Natal legislature "was the right place to continue to best serve the people of KwaZulu-Natal".
"There are certain options that I might consider for the future as to whether to remain in politics or further my academic studies or even venture into the corporate world should I decide to do so."
He said he met DA provincial leader Francois Rogers on Monday and had "a lengthy discussion with him" regarding his future in politics.
Rodgers said the party accepted Mncwango's resignation and welcomed his decision to remain a DA member:
The DA in KZN would like to thank Zwakele for his enormous contribution to the party as both the DA caucus leader in eThekwini and the provincial leader of the party in the province.
Rodgers also thanked Mncwango for his "guidance and his leadership".
Mncwango said he was thankful to the DA "for affording me the unique opportunity to serve the people of this great country".
"I must add that since I entered the caucus at provincial level, we were united in our efforts to promote the manifesto of the party and to take on issues that we believed were in the best interests of all the citizens of KwaZulu-Natal.
"It is my wish that even upon my departure, the provincial caucus of the DA remains united as it always has been since I joined and continues to serve the people of this province with aplomb and gusto."
Mncwango said he was confident that the party would replace him with a capable leader.
"I would like to wish every member of the provincial legislature everything of the very best in the future, and I am confident that they will serve the people of this province ably, without fear or favour, so that the lives of all citizens are improved, and that KwaZulu-Natal becomes the benchmark success of the entire country to follow suit," he added.