IN SEPTEMBER Sipho Maseko, Transnet's "preferred candidate" for the rail utility's chief executive job, withdrew his name, saying that "in view of the current context" he would no longer be available.
The "current context" was the controversy surrounding the suspension and preference by some politically connected people of Transnet's Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama to take over the job for which Maseko had been earmarked.
We have seen high court judge Shehnaz Meer, Supreme Court of Appeal judges Belinda van Heerden and Robert Nugent withdraw their names from the list of candidates to fill the then soon-to-be vacant Constitutional Court posts.
Though the judges did not use the same words, they too withdrew their names because of a "current context" that would have made their getting or not getting the jobs a farce.
As with Maseko, politics had played a big role in their deciding against availing themselves for jobs for which they believed they were suitably qualified.
We are raising these in the light of Jacob Maroga's "resignation", his dramatic return to work and Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell's resignation.
We are alive to the realities of corporate politics, but making executives kowtow to interpretations of what some allege to be a national agenda will leave the public sector bereft of the skills it desperately needs.
Unless this madness is arrested, we do not foresee any ambitious executive queuing up for a job in a sector where political considerations appear to trump the ability to do a job.