Durban – Struggle icon Zak Yacoob said that he would gladly go to the grave opposing President Jacob Zuma. Yacoob was speaking at a fundraising dinner for former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay in Durban on Friday night. "We have someone in power who is not honourable, not respectful, exercise power, control over power, not interested in our country at all. He is interested in sending everyone opposing him to the grave. I am happy to go to the grave for opposing Jacob Zuma."The fundraising effort, organised by the Merebank Justice Network, was being made in the event that Pillay required legal monies. Pillay hails from Merebank, south of Durban. He was suspended as deputy commissioner and has since resigned. Also in attendance was Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan did not speak but was given a round of applause when he entered the event venue. Yacoob, a former justice of the Constitutional Court, was critical of President Jacob Zuma saying, "I do not know what happened to him, but it is not helping the country."Lack of active civil society"What were people in our country struggling for? What did Ivan [Pillay] struggle for? We were striving for a society where the majority of people will benefit from government. Striving for no dishonesty."Yacoob added that there was a serious lack of an active civil society in South Africa. He said this contributed to the "current state of corruption" in the country. According to Yacoob, the key to the country coming out of corruption was an active civil society. He outlined how during the apartheid struggle the ANC and its members had hoped to incorporate civil society into government. "Back then we said there had to be a strong civil society. We understood in those days that government is government and cannot be left to its own devices. We knew that we needed to have a strong civil society."Yacoob said SA lacked civil contributions to the democratic processes. Hawks 'acting improperly'"We have not maintained a strong civil society. We abandoned what we thought then. We thought the government will do it and do it well."Yacoob said that he had also analysed the "legal threats" against the Sars "rogue unit". He said he felt there was no legal recourse. "I want to say I analysed it very carefully and discussed it with many people. The minister [Gordhan] and I consulted with each other on these units and I advised strongly that they were necessary and not wrong."He added: "Even if the units were unlawful, there is nothing in the law that says establishing these units was a crime. Therefore the Hawks are acting improperly. Ivan served our country and he suffers because he decides to be honourable because he serves his country."Also speaking at the fundraiser was suspended Ipid head Robert McBride. McBride concurred with Yacoob saying independent government institutions were under threat. "All of us in SA became quite complacent when these institutions were attacked. These institutions on their own don't work automatically – they are led by human beings. If you put the wrong human beings at these institutions, they settle scores and purge people."