“I am not saying s.e.x work is a good thing; nor am I saying that it is a bad thing. The morality of it does not interest me,” Justice Yacoob told The Times in an interview to mark the 21st anniversary of the constitution.
Former Constitutional Court Judge Zak Yacoob believes that if there is one thing the Constitutional Court still needs to rectify, it is the decriminalisation of prostitution.
“I think making s.e.x work criminal is wrong. It is against the [prostitutes’] right to make their own decisions.[Prostitutes] are the most vulnerable people as far as HIV is concerned. We cannot solve the HIV crisis without decriminalising s.e.x work. So I think that is an issue which I would love the court to reconsider in the constitutional era of today.”
Yacoob, who retired in 2013, has always gone against the grain. Having lost his eyesight at 16 months due to meningitis, he beat the odds to become the first blind judge. He said South Africa, which boasts one of the world’s most progressive constitutions, was still riddled with inequality, racism and patriarchy.