South Africa: Blind, and hired by Nelson Mandela to Constitutional Court Justice... 'And now confesses he was racist'.
"@City_Press: 'I was a racist, but soon saw the light' – Retired Justice Zak Yacoob reflects on his pursuit of blind justice: http://ow.ly/hA6Nu" -extracted from twitter. "...Retired Justice Zak Yacoob reflects on his pursuit of blind justice with Charl du Plessis.I used to be a racist, says retired Justice Zak Yacoob. "I thought that if the Indian and coloured guys tried hard enough, they could be like the white guys."Hardly something one would expect to hear from a former Constitutional Court Justice who was appointed to the Bench by Nelson Mandela and who has played an indispensable role in the development of constitutional jurisprudence in South Africa. But for Yacoob, this was the bizarre, racialised reality for a blind Indian boy attending the School for the Blind in 1960s apartheid South Africa. Yacoob lost his sight to meningitis when he was 16 months old. "I was a racist, actually, because the only white people I had met were clever guys who used to be school inspectors or subject advisers," he said. Dressed in a grey suit and crimson tie, Yacoob issitting on a beige couch in his dimly lit chambers at the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein.The bare walls and the monotony of the rows and rows of blue law reports make the large South African flag the main feature of Yacoob's stark chambers. His journey from racism to this office was sparked by apartheid practices. "Government policy in those days was that all lecturers, and particularly Afrikaners, who were not good enough for mainstream university because they were really quite stupid, were sent to universities for African, coloured and Indian people. "I got to my first lecture at university and said: 'Hawu! A stupid white man!' That's how things began to change for me." Shortly thereafter, Yacoob said, he was recruited into the ANC underground at the University of Durban-Westville by Pravin Gordhan, now South Africa's finance minister. Surrounded by debates on Marxism and nonracialism, Yacoob "soon realised this racism thing was nonsense". "I realised that unless I committed myself to getting rid of it, I would not be myself," said Yacoob...". -extracted from website, link above. ... THE BLIND SEER. A blind judge... Able to see beyond his
Limitations, to pass judgments and uphold
The law and constitution, having been
Persuaded - not organically to learn, and
Become the man he is today; because
In the time he was born, South Africa had
Not been free and democratic as is today;
South Africa's emancipation-drive created
Storms and hurricanes which shook all,
Uprooted hate, and swept many into many
Areas - if not for apartheid might have not
Chosen to pursue. A remarkable person
Is retired Justice Zak Yacoob.