Date of Birth
3 March 1948
BA (1969), LLB (1972) (University College, Durban – now University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus)
History at the Court:
Appointed: February 1998
Retired: 31 January 2013
Justice Yacoob served his pupillage in Durban in 1973. He was admitted as an advocate by the Natal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court on 12 March 1973, after which he practised as a junior counsel from July 1973 to May 1991.
He was the chairperson of the Durban Committee of Ten in 1980. Its aim was to alleviate the plight of pupils, ensure the release of those in detention and facilitate talks between pupils, students, parents and educational authorities.
As a member of the executive of the Durban Housing Action Committee from 1982 to 1985, he was involved in action aimed at ensuring that the Durban City Council managed its housing schemes fairly.
Justice Yacoob was also a member of a committee that rallied against the South African Indian Council. He belonged to the Democratic Lawyers Association from 1979 to 1984, was a member of the United Democratic Front’s Natal executive, where he was heavily involved in a campaign against the tri-cameral parliament from 1983 to 1985 and was a member of the underground structures of the ANC.
During his time as an advocate, he represented and advised many people prosecuted for contravening security laws, emergency measures and other oppressive legislation, victims of unfair evictions and people who were required to pay unfair tariffs, the “Durban Six” in negotiations with the British government when they occupied the British Consulate in Durban in 1984 in protest against apartheid and unjust laws and was part of a team that, from 1985 until 1988, defended officials and members of the United Democratic Front and its affiliates in the Delmas Treason Trial. He also represented the accused in the “Vula” trial, which involved high-ranking members of the African National Congress, in 1990 and 1991.
Justice Yacoob also ran a significant and diverse commercial and general legal practice. He served as a member of the Society of Advocates of Natal for several years and took silk in May 1991.
He was a member of the executive of the Natal Indian Congress from 1981 to 1991, in which capacity he organised and took part in protests, produced and distributed publicity material, and organised and addressed many anti-apartheid mass meetings.
Justice Yacoob served on the Independent Electoral Commission from December 1993 to June 1994 and was a member of the Panel of Independent Experts of the Constitutional Assembly.
Justice Yacoob has also advised local-government bodies, the National Land Committee and the Department of Finance.
Justice Yacoob has been heavily involved in the activities of the Natal Indian Blind and Deaf Society, and the South African National Council for the Blind. He has served on many school committees, parent-teacher bodies, ratepayers’ associations and civic organisations. He was the chairperson of the South African National Council for the Blind and was a member of its national management committee and its national executive committee from 2001 to 2009.
He was a member of the council of the University of Durban-Westville from 1989 to 1993 and from 1995 to1997. He was the chancellor of the university from May 2001 until 31 December 2003.
Justice Yacoob has attended dozens of international conferences and workshops on topics as varied as blindness, children and democracy.
In 2011, Justice Yacoob was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Selection of Judgments written
- Jooste v Score Supermarket Trading (Pty) Ltd (Minister of Labour Intervening) (CCT15/98)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/1998/18.html)
- New National Party v Government of the Republic of South Africa and Others (CCT9/99)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/1999/5.html)
- S v Twala (South African Human Rights Commission Intervening) (CCT27/99)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/1999/18.html)
- Brummer v Gorfil Brothers Invetsments (Pty) Ltd and Others (CCT45/99) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2000/3.html)
- Government of the Republic of South Africa and Others v Grootboom and Others (CCT11/00)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2000/19.html)
- Independent Electoral Commission v Langeberg Municipality (CCT49/00) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2001/23.html)
- S v Price (CCT23/01) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2001/1.html)
- De Beer NO v North-Central Local Council and South-Central Local Council and Others (Umhlatunzana Civic Association Intervening) (CCT59/00) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2001/9.html)
- Member of the Executive Council for Local Government and Development Planning Western Cape and Another v Paarl Poultry Enterprises CC t/a Rosendal Poultry Farm (CCT38/01) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2001/7.html)
- Swartbooi and Others v Brink and Another (CCT27/02) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2002/25.html)
- Phillips and Another v Director of Public Prosecutions and Others (CCT20/02)(http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2003/1.html)
- Lawyers for Human Rights and Other v Minister of Home Affairs and other (CCT18/03)(http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2004/12.html)
- Mkontwana v Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (CCT57/03) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2004/9.html)
- Bissett and Others v Buffalo Municipality and Others (CCT01/04) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2004/16.html)
- Transfer Rights Action Campaign and Others v MEC for Local Government and Housing Gauteng and Others (CCT01/04, CCT61/03, CCT57/03) (http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2004/23.html)
- Director of Public Prosecutions: Cape of Good Hope v Robinson (CCT15/04)(http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2004/22.html)
- Sibiya and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions: Johannesburg High Court and Others (CCT45/04)(http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2005/6.html)
- AAA Investments (Proprietary) Limited v Micro Finance Regulatory Council and Another (CCT51/05)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2006/9.html)
- Sibiya and Others v Director of Public Prosecutions (CCT45/04B) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2006/22.html)
- S v Shinga (Society of Advocates (Pietermaritzburg)) as Amicus Curiae) , S v O’Connell and Others (CCT56/06, CCT80/06)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2007/3.html)
- Occupiers of 51 Olivia Road, Berea Township and 197 Main Street Johannesburg v City of Johannesburg and Others (CCT24/07)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2008/1.html)
- Njongi v Member of the Executive Council, Department of Welfare, Eastern Cape (CCT37/07)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2008/4.html)
- Chagi and Others v Special Investigating Unit (CCT101/07) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2008/22.html)
- Abahlali Basemjondolo Movement SA and Another v Premier of the Province of Kwazulu-Natal and Others (CCT12/09)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2009/31.html)
- Cherangani Trade & Invest 107 (Pty) Ltd v Mason and Others (CCT116/2009) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2011/12.html)
- Everfresh Market Virginia (Pty) Ltd v Shoprite Checkers (Pty) Ltd (CCT105/10)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2011/30.html)
- Occupiers of Portion R25 of the Farm Mooiplaats 355 JR v Golden Thread Ltd and Others (CCT25/11)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2011/35.html)
- Occupiers of Skurweplaas 353 JR v PPC Aggregate Quarries (Pty) Ltd and Others (CCT26/11)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2011/36.html)
- Democratic Alliance v President of South Africa and Others (CCT122/11) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2012/24.html)
- Ramakatsa and Others v Magashule and Others (CCT109/12) (http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2012/31.html)
- Motswagae and Others v Rustenburg Local Municipality and Another (CCT42/12)(http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2013/1.html)