Home Affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni addressing journalists in Pretoria regarding a looming strike by front office staff. PHOTO: ANA

Johannesburg - Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni has vowed to challenge his recent and sudden suspension, his lawyer said on Monday. 

This after the department released a statement that said that Home Affairs Minister, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, had placed Apleni on precautionary suspension. 

His suspension is effective from September 18, 2017. 

It remains unclear why Apleni was suspended as the department provided no reasons for the move. 

Apleni's lawyer, Sandile July, has since confirmed that they intended to challenge the suspension. 

READ MORE: Mkhize suspends Home Affairs DG Mkuseli Apleni

"We are challenging the suspension on a number of grounds. One of the grounds is that the president is the one who appoints DGs, not the minister, [so only he can suspend them]," he said during an interview with PowerFM. 

July also explained the minister's reasons for suspending Apleni, saying that it related to his alleged failure to amicably resolve legal disputes.

Meanwhile, Mkhize earlier on provided Parliament reasons for granting the controversial Gupta family citizenship.

The department came under fire earlier this year when EFF leader Julius Malema made public documents showing that former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba had used his discretion to grant citizenship although the family did not qualify at the time.

According to News24, the minister said the decision to grant the family citizenship was based on business investments and social partnerships with numerous schools in the North West.