The latest update on the case between the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Senzeni Zokwana and the suspended Director-General, Mr. Michael Mlengana has been finalised by the High Court of South Africa – Gauteng Division in Pretoria. The Director-General was placed on precautionary suspension by the Minister on 9 July 2017 pending investigations into allegations of gross misconduct.
Following the suspension, the Director-General was served with a provisional charge sheet on 25 July 2017 and informed that a Departmental Disciplinary Enquiry would be held.
After the Director-General approached the high court again in November 2017, the matter was struck off the urgent court roll for lack of urgency. According to the order of the High Court it was declared that:
- the minister lacked the authority to suspend the Director-General
- the suspension was unlawful, invalid and of no force and effect
- the precautionary suspension of the Director-General was set aside with immediate effect
- the minister lacked the authority to institute disciplinary proceedings against the Director-General and such proceedings were unlawful, invalid and were set aside
- the minister is to allow the Director-General to resume his duties with immediate effect
- the minister is called upon to show cause on affidavit on or before 15 May 2018 why
- he should not be joined in his personal capacity and
- he should not pay the costs of the application from his own pocket.
Today, 24 April 2018, the suspended Director-General reported for duty. – Press release