Gauntlett ‘too short-tempered’ – JSC

2012-11-07 09:37

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) believes Jeremy Gauntlett SC cannot be a judge because he has a “short thread” and it doubts whether he has “humility”.

In a letter to Supreme Court of Appeal, former deputy president Louis Harms, who nominated Gauntlett, the JSC wrote that his “excellence and experience as a lawyer were acknowledged”, but that there were other concerns, financial daily, Business Day, and Afrikaans daily, Beeld, reported.

“Some commissioners accepted his assurance that as a judge one is removed from the immediate combative situation that counsel usually find themselves in, but strong reservations were also expressed as to whether... he has the humility and the appropriate temperament that a judicial officer should display.”

The JSC reportedly cited concerns that Gauntlett was not “possessed of humility”, had a “short thread” and “can be acerbic at times”.

Beeld reported that senior members of the legal fraternity were shocked at the JSC’s decision to reject Gauntlett as a judge for a fourth time.

Harms had asked for substantive reasons why attorney Mokgoatji Dolamo was recommended instead of Gauntlett.

The JSC made its decision in closed-door deliberations last month, after interviewing eight candidates for five vacancies in the Western Cape High Court.

In its letter to Harms, it said the court’s demographic composition had been a “very important consideration”, and that the appointment of two white men would amount to “doing violence” to the Constitution.

Beeld reported that Gauntlett’s long-standing colleague, constitutional law expert Prof Marinus Wiechers had described him as a paragon of professional conduct who had never had a complaint laid against him.

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