Mathews Phosa pursues legal action against former ConCourt judge Zak Yacoob over insulting call
He would willingly go and testify before the Judicial Service Commission, former Constitutional Court justice Zak Yacoob said after former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa opened a criminal case against him.
This comes after an alleged confrontational call made by Yacoob to Phosa on Friday night about the legal opinion that he gave to the ANC on the issue of step aside. Yacoob is accused of having slurred swear words at Phosa for having written “such a f**king opinion” for the ANC.
The ANC had asked four lawyers for legal opinions on whether the party could suspend its secretary-general Ace Magashule should he fail to voluntarily step aside from his position as he is facing corruption charges. For his part, Phosa told the ANC that the party cannot force its criminally-charged leaders to step aside, saying that such a move would constitute a suspension which the party could not effect.
According to Phosa, Yacoob called him and started swearing at him.
“I’m sitting at home, I didn’t even hear properly who he said he was ... so I say 'can I help you?' He says 'it's about the legal opinion you wrote to the ANC in December about the step aside nonsense'.
“I said I don’t discuss my communication with people, it doesn’t matter who it is whether they are angry or happy. I think that’s my confidentiality with the organisation. He said: 'No, you have to tell me why you wrote such a shit opinion. How can you write such a ‘f**king’ opinion?'
“I said no wait don’t start using such language, I’m going to have to end the call.”
But Yacoob allegedly carried on.
Phosa said he was taken aback by the tone and the swear words Yacoob used during the call. He said he opened a case against Yacoob and that he was waiting for them to issue him with details of the case which TimesLIVE could not independently confirm.
Phosa said he then wrote to ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte complaining about Yacoob. When called to verify Duarte did not answer the call.
It wasn’t anything too serious I think but if he takes it serious then it’s unfortunateZak Yacoob, former constitutional court judge
'’'I am afraid neither of the Hawks nor of you.' He said that after I told him I have reported him to the Hawks,” Phosa said.
When contacted for comment, Yacoob did not deny his interaction with Phosa and admitted that it did get heated.
“I called to discuss legal opinion. He got a bit upset and I was really upset that he got angry with me and that was basically it,” Yacoob said.
Yacoob also alleged that someone in Phosa’s corner had called to ask for a meeting to defuse the quarrel, but Phosa denied this.
Yacoob said: “I called him because I found his [legal] opinion to be interesting as a lawyer and I hadn’t spoken to him in years because I knew him years ago. So I just took this as an opportunity to call him. So it wasn’t anything too serious I think, but if he takes it serious then it’s unfortunate.”
He said it was sad that Phosa had opened a case against him but said he would willingly go to court to defend himself. “If I’m called to the JSC, I will willingly go and testify.”