Home Affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni has been suspended. Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize declined to divulge the reasons for his suspension to the media today. File picture: Masi Losi

Home Affairs Minister Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize says proper processes have to be followed and therefore she will not yet divulge the reasons for the suspension of the department's director-general Mkuseli Apleni. 

Speaking to journalists after an unannounced visit to the Pinetown Home Affairs office on Tuesday, she said information made public in a statement announcing his suspension on Monday was limited so as not to be in contravention with prescripts she was bound by. 

Alluding to Apleni being subject to an internal inquiry, Mkhize said; "... My understanding of the public service prescripts is that there are stages in dealing with an inquiry. The first stage is the most important one, where the matter is an internal one and closed so as to allow that employer/employee relationship to be handled with sensitivity." 

Regarding speculation that Apleni's suspension was linked to the Gupta's, Mkhize said; "we all have to be careful and not be driven by all sorts of agendas. If you do then we lose credibility, it's so important to be driven by facts. The whole idea of an investigation or inquiry is about being factual." 

She said she was generally cautious, to ensure that she get her facts correct before engaging on an issue. 

Regarding the suspension, Mkhize said it would be  premature for anyone to pronounce on "internal processes" because the principles of government do not allow that.

"We are expected to treat matters with absolute integrity, with respect for people concerned and make sure that we are not driven by the public hype because it doesn't help cases of this kind."

Apleni is reportedly going to challenge the suspension.