Zondo, who was appointed to head the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, was delivering the Victoria and Griffiths Mxenge memorial lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s school of law in Durban on Thursday.
He called on his fellow judges, lawyers and law students who attended the event to emulate the Mxenges, who were targeted and killed by the apartheid security apparatus because of their stand against the injustices of the time.
Justice Zondo said the likes of the Mxenges and recently passed away Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had suffered for the country to be liberated.
However, he said the Struggle leaders would be ashamed of what the country had later become through corruption.
“There are many things they would be not happy about, as they would say this is not part of what we fought and died for.
“Our country has a serious problem of corruption, and I don’t believe we are doing enough as individuals, as groups to fight corruption,” he said.
He said the country’s courts have had lots of prosecutions, but “corruption is increasing every day”.
“And corruption is taking money that should help the poor people, who continue to be jobless, homeless because a lot of money that should be helping them is taken by other people through corruption,” he said. Justice Zondo added that the deceased Struggle heroes would be weeping when they “look down at us and see what we are doing”.
He called on each and every law practitioner to play a role in building a better country through fighting corruption.
“I am able to occupy the position of deputy justice of this country because of these people's sacrifice. To show recognition, we have to ensure our judiciary plays its role in maintaining our democracy.
“We have to make sure that in our courts corruption is dealt with properly,” he said.