Apleni ruling could have consequences for other suspended DGs

The High Court found that unless delegated by the president, ministers do not have powers to suspend DGs.

FILE: Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - A court ruling setting aside the suspension of the Home Affairs Director General (DG), Mkuseli Apleni, could have consequences for two other suspended DGs.

The High Court found that unless delegated by the president, ministers do not have powers to suspend DGs.

The DGs of Water and Sanitation and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have been suspended on full pay for more than three months.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has confirmed that DG Dan Mashitisho remains on suspension and that his disciplinary process is still ongoing.

At the same time, Mike Mlengana, the DG of Agriculture, says the legally prescribed time for formal disciplinary proceedings to be instituted against him has passed, and he intends returning to work soon.

Labour lawyer Puke Maserumule says this week’s judgment in Apleni’s favour, has consequences for those in the same boat.

“The fact that you might have been suspended six months ago, doesn’t mean that because the judgment was handed down this week, your suspension is lawful.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)