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Retired judge apologises to Phosa

AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER

AN ugly public spat between two of South African leading legal eagles has ended with an apology and withdrawal of criminal charges.

ANC veteran Mathews Phosa and retired Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob have smoked the peace pipe after several days of a public exchange and threats of criminal action.

At the heart of the dispute was the interpretation of the ANC “step aside” rule, in terms of which ANC members facing criminal charges are withdrawn from official positions. 

The settlement was brokered by Dr Khulu Mbatha, an ANC veteran, advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa and a friend to Phosa and Yacoob.

Phosa and Yacoob have issued a joint-statement which reflect the settlement to their dispute. 

Yacoob said: I, Judge Yacoob apologise unreservedly to Dr Phosa for what I said to him at the end of our conversation. I have high regard for Dr Phosa, both as a comrade who was with me in the struggle for liberation and as a fellow lawyer. We were comrades in the dark days during Operation Vula and were united against all that the Apartheid State could throw at us. I wish to restore our relationship after this unfortunate spat.”

Phosa said: “I, Dr Phosa accept the apology from Judge Yacoob and shall withdraw all complaints I had laid with the police as a result of the call I received from the judge. We must be reminded that we shall need all the resources of our people to fight the many battles we have ahead and we must not be sidetracked by the discomforts of the present, however they arise. Let me loosely quote Che Guevara and state that there should be peace among the people and war against the enemy. The enemies we face are poverty, unemployment and inequality, exacerbated by corruption and criminality. Let our polemic and personality differences not shift us from the path of achieving the dream our people deserve.”