SUSPENDED: Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni. Picture: Masi Losi
Pretoria - The urgent application in which suspended director-general of Home Affairs, Mkuseli Apleni, asked the High Court in Pretoria to overturn his suspension did not proceed on Monday.

His lawyer, SJ Thema, told the media the matter was too complex to deal with in the urgent court, with its congested roll.

The parties will approach Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba for a special court to deal with the matter. With regard to Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize calling Apleni “delusional” this week, Thema said this and other matters would soon be vented in court.

His client was fine and he was waiting to have his day in court.

Apleni turned to the court after Mkhize placed him on precautionary suspension on September 18.

In court papers he said the minister’s reasons for suspending him were irrational and the process followed by her in suspending him was procedurally unfair. He said only the president had the power to suspend him.

“The minister has failed to show any objectively justifiable reason to deny me access to the workplace based on the integrity of any pending investigation into alleged misconduct or some other relevant factor that would place the investigation or the interests of the affected parties in jeopardy.”

Apleni said there were projects that were ongoing of which he was integral to their success. “It is important that I return to my position to execute the projects without improper political interference.”

He said one of the reasons given for his suspension was that he failed to give effect to a verbal instruction by the minister to settle the litigation between the department and Fireblade Ltd, owned by the Oppenheimer family.

He feared that if he was not at the office dealing with these matters himself, the minister would settle this and other matters which would not be in the public interest.

But in answering papers, President Jacob Zuma, through his director-general Cassius Lubisi, said Mkhize had his backing in firing Apleni, as he had delegated his powers to her. This was through former president Thabo Mbeki, who in 1999 delegated some of his powers to the ministers responsible for each of the departments.

Lubisi and Home Affairs acting director-general Jackson McKay contested the application.

Pretoria News