Today's Labour News

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southafricalogoHuffPost reports that when Home Affairs boss Mkuseli Apleni was suspended this week, he became the 216th director-general (DG) axed, shifted or suspended since President Jacob Zuma took office in 2009.  

Yet, Apleni, who is challenging his suspension in court, kept his job as home affairs DG for seven years, whereas the average lifespan of these senior bureaucrats is 14 months.  That's according to Gareth van Onselen, who recently produced research on how quickly the state fires DGs.  In just over 100 months of the Zuma administration, 172 DGs were appointed across 38 departments, while 81 of these senior civil servants were in acting positions.  In almost six in 10 times, the relationships between DGs and their ministers lasted less than a year.  Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize is not commenting on why she suspended Apleni because her dispute with him is still being investigated.  Her working relationship with Apleni lasted just five months before it hit the skids. Ivor Chipkin of the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) notes that the public service is a lot less stable than it was under former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

  • Read this report by Ferial Haffajee in full at HuffPost
  • Read too, How Apleni was suspended from his role as home affairs DG, at The Citizen
  • And also, Home Affairs minister ducks and dives on DG suspension, at SowetanLive

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page