The honour was conferred upon him at the university’s Centre for Human Rights graduation ceremony on Monday.
In a statement, the university said: “Justice Yacoob was awarded the honorary doctorate in recognition of his extensive contribution to the law, his exemplary life of service to human rights, his continuous moral leadership and the stature he has attained in society.”
Apart from “obvious credentials as a committed campaigner for human rights, he is a beacon of integrity, truth and justice in South Africa and around the world”, the institution added.
In his acceptance speech, Yacoob said he was “deeply humbled” by the honour, according to the institution.
“This honorary doctorate is extremely important to me. Emotionally, it is undoubtedly immensely heartwarming to be recognised and applauded by committed professionals who have themselves made a sterling commitment to democracy and continue to do so,” he was quoted as saying.
During the ceremony, 63 master’s degrees and two doctorates were conferred on graduates.