Michele Botes, aka Cherel de Villiers, has left the building.
And Isidingo , the most popular local soapie on SABC, will never be the same again.
Botes, who portrays the evil and devious Cherel on the soapie, is said to be moving to greener pastures. She is believed to be joining M-Net.
Though Botes' contract with Isidingo expires at the end of the month, viewers will still be able to see her until April.
Word has it that Botes has been offered a role in the pay channel's drama series Binnelanders and will start with them next month.
Botes' role as Cherel was seen as one of the lead characters that gave the show substance. In the days back then, Botes would have been referred to as one of the "stars" on the show.
Cherel is like a cat with nine lives and always gets away with murder.
Her departure has been seen as a major blow to the show, which recently collected a number of awards at the South African Film and Television Awards (Safta). They included best cast ensemble, best script-writing and best female and male awards, to mention but a few.
Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Botes confirmed her departure but refused to say where she was heading.
"I'm grateful for the years that I spent at Isidingo, but I feel that it is now an opportune time for me to move on.
"Many things have changed in my life, which I would not want to discuss. What I can say, though, is that I'm leaving Isidingo on a good note."
Pumla Hopa, Isidingo's executive producer, described the departure of Botes as a great loss to the soapie.
"We wish her well in her new venture and will miss her. She was part of the Isidingo family," said Hopa.