As spokesman for the 2010 World Cup local organising committee, Tim Modise could hardly be described as a small cog in the wheel of the country's preparations to host the mammoth football event in less than two years' time.
Thus, his sudden departure is as lamentable as it is curious. Curious because it came only months after Modise was expected to resign and apparently recanted after being persuaded not to leave.
Reports previously rebutted by the LOC attribute frosty relations between Modise and his boss Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the LOC, as being the source of unhappiness. Allusions to differences between the two, stemming from almost ramshackle marketing and communications, have persisted for some time - punctuated by Fifa boss Sepp Blatter's censure of the LOC for not marketing the country's hosting of the 2010 World Cup finals adequately - if at all.
Inevitably Modise's departure raises questions about the extent of unity of purpose and the team spirit within an organisation charged with the colossal task of ensuring the 2010 finals live up to expectations of being the most memorable. And so have several other resignations that rocked the LOC in the past.
No amount of spin-doctoring can gloss over the prematureness of Modise's departure, given that he was supposed to be around at least until the last game of the 2010 finals.
The point is that Modise has dropped the ball too soon, and the question is why?
With 2010 around the corner, more deft hands are needed on deck than off it.