Suspended director-general of Home Affairs Mkuseli Apleni has asked the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to urgently have his suspension overturned. Picture: Sizwe Ndingane

Pretoria - The urgent application in which suspended Director General of Home Affairs, Mkuseli Apleni asked the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to urgently overturn his suspension, did not go ahead on Tuesday.

His lawyer, SJ Thema told the media outside court that the matter is 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. It will only be known later this week when it will be heard.

Apleni turned to court after Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize on September 18 placed him on precautionary suspension.

He said in court papers that the minister’s reasons for suspending him are irrational and the process followed by her in suspending him was procedurally unfair.  He said only the president has 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 affected parties in jeopardy.”  

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

He said one of the reasons provided for his suspension is 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 will settle this and other matters, which would not be in the public interest.

But in answering papers 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 various departments.

Both Lubisi and Home Affairs acting director-general, Jackson McKay, contested that the application was urgent.

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