EDITORIAL | Attack isn’t always the best defence, as Yacoob found out
In verbally abusing a journalist in a telephonic interview, Yacoob has let himself down and sullied his reputation
Judge Zak Yacoob had to tread a fine line as Cricket SA’s interim board chair between being firm in the restructuring process, which would inevitably ruffle feathers and create enemies along the way, and bullying.
His vitriolic response to a journalist asking tough questions — published by TimesLIVE in a 40-minute audio — gave too strong an indication that Yacoob had erred on the side of bullying and authoritarianism, and he had to go. That was the decision, after a conversation with sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, who had appointed Yacoob, and the retired Constitutional Court judge stepped down as CSA’s interim board chair last week.
The entire saga is regrettable on many fronts. It was entirely unnecessary, as Yacoob certainly should not have responded in the manner he did. Also regrettable because by all accounts the interim board has done good work restructuring and stabilising troubled CSA since Mthethwa appointed it three months ago. Also regrettable because it has sullied the reputation of a revered anti-apartheid activist, whose contribution to the struggle was so notable to have then been appointed a Constitutional Court judge by Nelson Mandela in the country’s new democracy in the 1990s...