Deputy judge to meet with Apleni and Mkhize’s legal teams

Home Affairs director-deneral Mkuseli Apleni is asking the court to declare that Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize does not have the authority to suspend him.

Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba is expected to meet this morning with the legal teams in the matter between Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni and Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.

The case was set down to be heard on Tuesday but the judge asked that it be assigned to someone else.

Apleni is asking the court to declare that the minister does not have the authority to suspend him.

The urgent court judge told the parties on Tuesday that due to the complexity of the case, she would prefer that it be assigned to another judge.

Ledwaba is expected to meet this morning with the legal teams to discuss a new date to hear the matter.

Apleni has relied on a letter signed by President Jacob Zuma earlier this year to show that ministers don’t have the authority to suspend directors-general.

The Presidency has, however, filed an affidavit saying that they do and have referred to a letter signed by former President Thabo Mbeki more than a decade ago.

APLENI’S LEGAL TEAM TO CHALLENGE MKHIZE’S CLAIMS

Apleni’s legal teams said they will challenge Mkhize’s claims that he is unstable and delusional when the matter is finally heard in court.

This week, his attorney SJ Thema said they have filed a supplementary affidavit specifically to deal with Mkhize’s utterances.

But he said it’s unfortunate the minister has not filed an affidavit herself. A senior Home Affairs official has filed one instead.

“We’re hoping, with the special allocation with a judge dedicated to this matter, that would give the minister an opportunity to file an affidavit answering to the allegations that are made in our filing papers.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)