Top advocates not on lawyers' roll - report

Johannesburg - Many prominent advocates do not appear on the justice department's lawyers' roll, Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday.

A search by the Afrikaans daily revealed that the names of lawyers, such as Jeremy Gauntlett SC, Barry Roux SC, Johann Engelbrecht SC, and Paul Fick SC, did not appear on the roll of appointed advocates.

Beeld said apparently the justice department had been battling for the past 19 years to get all the lawyers' names reflected accurately on the roll.

This was because it was destroyed in 1996 when the department's IT system crashed.

Before the electronic roll, the names were kept in a book but the book had also disappeared.

Lawyers had been asked to resend their names and admission certificates to the department but this process had not been completed.

Justice department spokesperson advocate Mthunzi Mhaga - whose name was not on the roll either - told Beeld the department was auditing the roll.