Apleni's legal bid for re-instatement as Home Affairs DG postponed
Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni’s legal bid to have his suspension overturned has hit a snag after the judge asked for his case to be assigned to another judge‚ due to her workload and the "complexity" of the case.
The judge manning the Pretoria high court’s urgent roll for this week felt she had too much on her plate to preside over the application.
The court challenge in which Apleni seeks to have the decision by home affairs minister Hlengiwe Mkhize to suspend him from his position declared unlawful was due to be heard on Tuesday.
But Apleni’s attorney‚ SJ Thema‚ said they met with the judge on Tuesday morning and she deferred the matter back to the deputy judge president‚ to allocate another judge to proceed with the matter.
“She feels she has too many matters on her roll and this matter‚ and because of its nature its complexity‚ she’d rather defer to the deputy judge president to give us a special allocation‚” he said.
Thema said the parties will meet deputy judge president Aubrey Ledwaba on Thursday for the allocation.
Last week Apleni filed the urgent application‚ challenging the minister’s authority to suspend him and demanding his suspension be set aside.
The presidency‚ through director-general Cassius Lubisi‚ has since filed an affidavit in response‚ arguing that Mkhize has the powers to suspend Apleni.
Apleni’s lawyers believe the matter raises critical constitutional issues and stated Apleni was confident of his case.