NEHAWU Welcomes Suspension Of Mkuseli Apleni

Director-General of Home Affairs Mkuseli Apleni. Photo: Ron Sibiya

The National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) welcomes the suspension of the Director General of the Department of Home Affairs, Mkuseli Apleni.

The union claims that Apleni “was put on suspension over insubordination by the Minister of Home Affairs, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize.”

The department of home affairs announced on Monday that Apleni has been suspended.

Without elaborating on the reasons, a short statement issued by the department said Apleni had been placed on “precautionary suspension” with immediate effect.

“The Home Affairs Minister, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize, announced that the department’s Director-General, Mr Mkuseli Apleni, has been placed on precautionary suspension as of today, 18 September 2017,” according to a statement attributed to Mkhize’s spokesperson Mpume Madlala.

However, NEHAWU has come in support of the suspension of Akpleni and says it was long overdue. 

“As NEHAWU, we hold a strong view that it should have happened long ago. Apleni ruled the department with an iron fist and victimised workers. His suspension will give workers a much needed sigh of relief after they had to endure his unabated reign of terror,” said the statement. 

Meanwhile, yesterday Apleni said, through his lawyer, will challenge his suspension by Home Affairs minister Hlengiwe Mkhize. 

In an interview with POWER 98.7, Sandile July from Werksmans Attorneys said there are a “number of grounds” on which they will challenge the suspension. 

 Apleni can only be placed on suspension by the president who ultimately hired him, July said. 

“We are not aware of any delegation that has been given by the president to the minister to suspend. If there is such delegation, we would want to see it.”

However, NEHAWU has also accused Apleni of abusing tax payers money on legal fees while trying to avoid paying workers for Saturday work. 

“The money spent on legal fees should have been spent on paying workers, providing transport and child care facilities,” the union said. 

“The current problems that engulf the department starts and ends with Mr Apleni and we hope his suspension will be indefinite. Apart from losing the department millions, he was also at the centre of leaving home affairs offices unguarded after he failed to renew the contract of the security service provider.

“This blunder could have jeopardised the safety of both workers and citizens and put them at risk of being victims to criminal elements. This controversial DG was also involved in the granting of citizenship to Gupta family members even after their previous requests were denied in the past.

“The Department of Home Affairs renders very important services to the country and its citizens. Therefore, it needs to be led by people of integrity and not unprincipled people like Mr Apleni. NEHAWU will monitor the situation closely and will be on the lookout for any new developments in relation to this matter,” conclude the statement. 

Apleni could also not be reached for comment.