Professor Managay Reddi, Consul General of India
His Excellency Mr Rajagopalan Raghunathan,
Moot court winner Ms Chiedza Mlingwa and United
States Consul General, Ms Frances Chisholm.
‘Hello mama, I won…yes, I won the Moot Court.’ Those were the jubilant words of final year Law student Ms Chiedza Mlingwa on the telephone to her mom Sibongile in Zimbabwe after being declared the victor in the School of Law’s Ellie Newman Memorial Moot Court Competition.
Ms Lauren Simpson was second and Mr Musa Kika and Mr Greg Mazen were joint third.
The stellar performance and high level of advocacy the competitors exhibited during the mock trial drew praise from the bench of judges comprising Mr Justice Patel, Mr Justice Gorven and Mr Justice Olsen.
‘After the winners had been announced the first person I thought of sharing the good news with was my mother,’ said Mlingwa. ‘Work commitments prevented mom from being in Durban to see me compete. She was quite ecstatic when she heard the news. Hearing the pride in her voice as she congratulated me for winning made the extra effort I put in and sleepless nights I went through all worth the trouble.’
The mock trial setting allows final year LLB students to translate the wealth of theoretical knowledge obtained through their learning experience into the practical aspects of the legal profession.
For Mlingwa winning the Moot Court was not only about getting her name listed alongside the Dean and Head of the School of Law Professor Managay Reddi and Judge Malcom Wallis, it was also about making the people of her home country proud as she is the first Zimbabwean student to win the competition in the 42 years of its existence.
‘To have one’s name listed and counted among some of the leading luminaries in the legal profession is a truly remarkable feat. I was motivated to enter the competition largely due to the huge amount of encouragement I received from my colleagues and the fact that I eventually realised that this was the first time that not just one, but two Zimbabwean students had made it to the finals. It was quite an enlightening experience that has taught me what to expect in the real world especially in respect of having to meet hectic deadlines,’ she said.
During the event proceedings, Law academic Ms Tanya Woker was recognised by Reddi for winning the Moot Court 31 years ago as proof that the winners of the competition go on to play a vital role in bringing about social change in their communities.
Woker said the moot court final is a very exciting and challenging experience for a Law student
hence she still vividly remembers the experience like it was yesterday.
‘I have been teaching at the Law School for 27 years and so over the years I have attended many moot court finals. It always holds happy memories for me and I enjoy being part of the occasion,’ said Woker.
‘I am delighted to say that in my view the moot court finals continue to be of an exceptionally high standard – as stated by our judge president the Honourable Mr Justice Patel (who both lectured me and was then a colleague of mine when I first started teaching). This is a real testament to the strength of our Law School. I congratulate all four finalists and wish them well in the future,’ she added.
The competition was followed by an awards ceremony.