Mkuseli Apleni’s Resignation ‘A Great Loss’

June 27, 2017. Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni answer questions on the process followed in granting naturalisation to the Gupta family . PICTURE: ESA ALEXANDER/THE TIMES

CAPE TOWN: Parliament’s Home Affairs portfolio committee expressed shock at the sudden resignation of long-serving Director-General Mkuseli Apleni, describing it as a “great loss”.

Committee chairperson Patrick Chauke says Apleni led a very capable administration during his decade at the helm, but the department was faced with several challenges.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday confirmed Apleni’s resignation.

The naturalisation of the Gupta family and allowing the Oppenheimer family permission to operate a private VIP terminal at OR Tambo International Airport are some of the unresolved issues currently before Parliament.

Chauke said: “It’s a great loss. But as a committee, it’s a time we’re looking at ourselves to deal with the current issues that are facing the department, especially the issuing of citizenship of the Guptas and the issue of the Fireblade at the airport.”

He adds that there is still the possibility of a parliamentary inquiry into the naturalisation of the Guptas.

While praising Apleni’s contribution, Chauke says he would have to appear before an inquiry due to his institutional memory and long service in the department.

“If we come to that conclusion as the committee then there’s nothing wrong, everyone will have to appear, not only him.”