Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni has been suspended in a shock move by Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize. Apleni -- known to many as a hard-working and well-respected civil servant -- was issued with a precautionary suspension. The ministry made the announcement in a brief statement on Monday afternoon.
Apleni reportedly plans to challenge his suspension.
Apleni had clashed with the department over the naturalisation of the Gupta family.
According to Business Day, no official explanation has been forthcoming for his suspension, but Apleni had clashed with the department over the naturalisation of the Gupta family.
The department said on Monday: "The Home Affairs Minister, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, announced that the department's Director-General, Mr Mkuseli Apleni, has been placed on precautionary suspension as of today, 18 September 2017."
Business Day reported that in June, Apleni told Parliament's portfolio committee on home affairs that the naturalisation of the Gupta family was not tabled before Parliament, as legislation requires.
There were also reports that he was suspended over an undisclosed "verbal instruction".
Apleni's lawyer says the DG was suspended over a "verbal instruction" that Home Affairs Min. Hlengiwe Mkhize hasn't disclosed to him.— thembekile (@ThembiMrototo) September 18, 2017
His suspension was met with shock:
Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and suspended DG Mkuseli Apleni headed for a showdown. He intends to challenge his suspension. pic.twitter.com/61CDkxhwUZ— thembekile (@ThembiMrototo) September 18, 2017
Mr Apleni is the hardest working fellow I've ever met .....hands down.— Mayihlome (@MTshwete) September 18, 2017