Justice Zak Yacoob's life journey and his lifelong dedication to social justice

Friday Stand In Melanie Verwoerd, speaks to Justice Zak Yacoob, a man who dedicated his life to fighting apartheid and injustice in South Africa.

He talks about his work in the Constitutional Assembly, and speaks out about the need for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Although Yacoob retired in 2012, he is highly respected as a man who contributed enormously to the justice system of this country.

At his farewell ceremony, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng described Zac Yakoob as one of South Africa’s treasured blessings saying he defied all odds, stereotypes and prejudices.

Justice Yacoob described his struggles with his schooling as a blind Indian child growing up in apartheid South Africa.

He attended Durban's Arthur Blaxall School for the Blind from 1956 to 1966 and he says if he was an African (Black) child he wouldn’t have gotten formal education because of how things were done by the apartheid regime.

It was difficult in the sense that I had to get people to read things to me and I had to record all my lectures… it did take long hours.

Justice Zak Yacoob, former justice of the Constitutional Court

While at University doing his LLB, Justice Yacoob says he was recruited to join the underground structures of the ANC. He was admitted to the Bar in 1973 and got to work on a lot of ANC cases.

Listen to the full conversation below:

I was instructed not to show my true allegience. My instructions were to look like an above ground commercial lawyer and nothing more. My life was full of third party insurance cases …

Justice Zak Yacoob, former justice of the Constitutional Court

Yacoob served on the Independent Electoral Commission from December 1993 to June 1994. He says at that time he was told Nelson Mandela wanted to see him.

He said boy, I wanted to see you because I wanted to tell you that I know you are a committed member of the ANC, but when you are on the commission, my instructions to you are that you must not take our side. And that for me was wonderful.

Justice Zak Yacoob, former justice of the Constitutional Court

He said he wanted me but not to take the part of the ANC,but rely on my capacity to be independent

Justice Zak Yacoob, former justice of the Constitutional Court

On the Nkadla saga, Justice Yacoob says he would have been surprised if the judgement on Nkandla went any other way.

It is quite obvious that the Public Protector’s order had to be obeyed

Justice Zak Yacoob, former justice of the Constitutional Court

It was quite obvious that the president had to know what was going on in his own house and I thought the judgement was too gentle

Justice Zak Yacoob, former justice of the Constitutional Court

This article first appeared on 702 : Justice Zak Yacoob's life journey and his lifelong dedication to social justice


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
How technology is changing the world of archaeology

How technology is changing the world of archaeology

This week Technobyte looks at how technology is changing archaeology, SA’s IoT network and Uber's on-demand staffing system.

[LISTEN] Catch up with this in-depth look at the week's news and analysis

[LISTEN] Catch up with this in-depth look at the week's news and analysis

Political Journalist at News24 Matshidiso Madia gives an analysis of the past week's political headlines.

How to help your kids adjust to new siblings

How to help your kids adjust to new siblings

Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane says parents must recognise the anxiety new siblings create and give other kids reassurance.

Khayelitsha fire victims should get same help as Knysna says Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh

Khayelitsha fire victims should get same help as Knysna says Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and callers discuss ways that corporate SA should help displaced Khayelitsha fire victims in Cape Town.

[LISTEN] #NakedScientist: Very first lab-grown oesophagus implanted in mice

[LISTEN] #NakedScientist: Very first lab-grown oesophagus implanted in mice

Experiment will hopefully lead to clinical trials of food pipes for kids born with part of their oesophagus damaged or missing.

[LISTEN] Callers share how they beat the odds to achieve academic excellence

[LISTEN] Callers share how they beat the odds to achieve academic excellence

Callers share how they overcame difficult situations to get an education.

Popular articles
'I’ve never invested in the stock exchange. I know it too well'

'I’ve never invested in the stock exchange. I know it too well'

Bruce Whitfield interviews Prof Lorenzo Fioramonti (UP) about his attitude toward money (hopes, fears, successes, failures, etc.).

How to have a good day

How to have a good day

Forbes and Inc. call “How to Have a Good Day” a “top must-read business book”. Bruce Whitfield interviews author Caroline Webb.

DA: Whether you are from Switzerland or Swaziland, you must be documented in SA

DA: Whether you are from Switzerland or Swaziland, you must be documented in SA

The DA defends its immigration plans saying no country can afford not to secure its borders.

CT council to decide on charging De Lille following new forensic report

CT council to decide on charging De Lille following new forensic report

The Bowman Gilfillan report, yet to be made public, found that De Lille allegedly failed to report tender corruption to council.

Judge in Omotoso case dismisses defence application to recuse himself

Judge in Omotoso case dismisses defence application to recuse himself

Judge Mandela Makaula has dismissed the defence application saying it has no merit.

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Cheryl Zondi is testifying against Pastor Timothy Omotoso who is accused of rape and human trafficking in his Durban church.