Deputy Judge President to decide on date for Home Affairs DG hearing

Pretoria – Former Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni's court application challenging his suspension has been sent to the Deputy Judge President to allocate a date for the matter to be heard. 

The matter, which was scheduled to be heard at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, did not sit. Apleni's attorney, SJ Thema said the matter could not proceed because the court roll was clogged.

"This matter, because of its nature and complexity, she [judge] would rather defer it to the Deputy Judge President to give us a special allocation, so the legal practitioners are meeting with the deputy on Thursday and he will give us a directive on the allocation of a judge who will preside over the matter," he explained.

Thema said Apleni's suspension raised constitutional issues. 

"Apleni believes that the minister does not have the powers to suspend him… the crux of the case is that he is challenging the powers of the minister to suspend him."

Thema said Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize had indicated that she would oppose the matter. 

The former director-general made an urgent application to the Pretoria High Court for a declaration that his suspension was unconstitutional and invalid. 

Apleni, who was appointed in 2010, was suspended by Mkhize in a short statement which gave no reasons for the suspension. 

His lawyer Sandile July, in an interview with POWER 98.7, said his client could only be suspended by President Jacob Zuma, who appointed him.

Thema told News24 that his client had filed an supplementary affidavit to deal with Mkhize's public utterances during am Enca interview in which she said Apleni was “unstable and delusional”. 

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