Zakeria “Zak” Yacoob is a former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.  He was born on 3rd March 1948.   Yacoob was appointed to the bench in 1998 by Nelson Mandela. He briefly served as Acting Deputy Chief Justice during the long-term leave of Dikgang Moseneke.

The struggle icon said that he would gladly go to the grave opposing President Jacob Zuma. Yacoob was speaking at a fundraising dinner for former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in Durban on Friday night.

“We have someone in power who is not honourable, not respectful, exercise power, control over power, not interested in our country at all. He is interested in sending everyone opposing him to the grave. I am happy to go to the grave for opposing Jacob Zuma,” he said.

The former Justice of the Constitutional Court was critical of President Jacob Zuma saying, “I do not know what happened to him, but it is not helping the country,” he added.

Some of the things the icon pointed out about President Zuma are as follows ;

  1. Lack of active civil society.

“What were people in our country struggling for?  We were striving for a society where the majority of people will benefit from government. Striving for no dishonesty,” he said.

Yacoob added that there was a serious lack of an active civil society in South Africa. He said this contributed to the “current state of corruption” in the country.

He outlined how during the apartheid struggle the ANC and its members had hoped to incorporate civil society into government.

“Back then we said there had to be a strong civil society. We understood in those days that government is government and cannot be left to its own devices. We knew that we needed to have a strong civil society.”

Yacoob said South Africa lacked civil contributions to the democratic processes.

2. Hawks ‘acting improperly’.

“We have not maintained a strong civil society. We abandoned what we thought then. We thought the government will do it and do it well,” he said.

Yacoob said that he had also analysed the “legal threats” against the SARS “rogue unit”. He said he felt there was no legal recourse.

“I want to say I analysed it very carefully and discussed it with many people. The minister [Gordhan] and I consulted with each other on these units and I advised strongly that they were necessary and not wrong.”

He added: “Even if the units were unlawful, there is nothing in the law that says establishing these units was a crime. Therefore the Hawks are acting improperly”.

Yacoob said that independent government institutions were under threat.