Gauntlett saga may go to court

Legal advisor Paul Ngobeni says the IFP is politicizing the Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett affair.

Jeremy Gauntlett is seen at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on August 2012. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's former legal advisor Paul Ngobeni on Wednesday said the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) was politicising the Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett affair - by nominating him as a Constitutional Court judge.

Gauntlett has indicated he will accept a nomination to the post.

Meanwhile, former Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) deputy judge president Louis Harms is considering taking the Judicial Service Commission to court, over its decision not to appoint Gauntlett to the Western Cape High Court.

Ngobeni and Gauntlett have tussled several times in public, and Ngobeni now says the JSC was right to find Gauntlett lacks humility.

"It's either a person has it or doesn't."

And he is worried about a possible legal challenge to that decision.

"You cannot ask another judge to go in there and say a committee that consisted of the chief justice, President of the Supreme Court of Appeal didn't know what it was doing, and that that judge is going to appoint a person [Gauntlett] as a judge."

But Ngobeni also has a controversial past, and has been accused of skipping bail in the United States - for not paying maintenance.