The School of Law recently held its annual moot competitions in Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The mock trial competition saw Pietermaritzburg finalists Mr Siyabonga Ngcamu, Ms Denisha Govender, Ms Nomonde Mbanjwa and Mr Siyabonga Mathe display their legal prowess in front of judges Madam Justice Poyo Dlwati and Mr Justice David Gush.

While the judges were both participating in the moot for the first time they commented afterwards that they were very impressed by the high standard of the students’ arguments. Ngcamu and Govender were crowned the winners of moot one and moot two respectively.

At the School of Law in Durban, finalists Ms Nerrisa Naidoo, Ms Claire Hallett, Ms Susan Foley and Ms Wendy Makhathini were put through their paces by KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Mr Justice Achmat Jappie, Madam Justice Kate Pillay and Mr Justice Nkosinathi Emmanuel Chili. However, it was Hallett’s outstanding performance that saw her being crowned the winner of the 2017 Ellie Newman Memorial Moot Court Competition.

When announcing the winner, Justice Jappie commented that the judges had a tough choice in choosing one winner as all the finalists delivered stellar performances.

‘When I came here tonight, I thought that the fate of advocacy was in danger due to the advocacy we see in our courtrooms today. After being part of the moot today, I have to say that I have faith. The finalists were impressive and now I have hope for our judiciary,’ he said.

The School’s Acting Dean Professor Warren Freedman said mooting is regarded by the Law School as an essential component of a well-rounded legal education and an important stepping stone for entry into the legal profession.

‘The list of finalists over the years reveals that some of the leading members of the legal profession participated in this Competition during their student years. This is why participation in the Moot Court Competition is compulsory for all final year Law students,’ he said.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo