blank
Finalists of the Moot Court competition, from left, Mr Roberto Brown, Ms Mbalenhle Khumalo, Ms Sandisile Hlongwane and Mr Kwandile Mathebula.

Second- and third-year Law students showcased their practical legal skills at the Black Lawyers Association Student Chapter’s (BLAsc) inaugural Moot Court Competition on the Howard College campus. The student-led initiative championed by the College of Law and Management Studies Public Relations Unit was a hybrid event attended by participants and judges in person and online by other guests.

Finalists Mr Roberto Brown and Mr Kwandile Mathebula representing the appellant and Ms Sandisile Hlongwane and Ms Mbalenhle Khumalo representing the respondent argued a hypothetical labour law scenario before judges: Ms Aandhia Panday (Candidate Attorney at Austen Smith Inc.), Mr Noveni Kubayi (Black Lawyers Association Treasurer General) and School of Law academic Ms Zamankwali Njobe.

‘The aim of this competition is to equip students with skills before they go for the moots in their fourth year. We understand that when you do something for the first time and in your final-year, it is challenging,’ said Ms Nompendulo Cele who gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the BLAsc.

The judges were impressed by the students’ arguments.

‘Some of the questions we asked were difficult, but we wanted to know if they can think on their feet,’ said Kubayi.

Third-year students Mathebula and Brown were thrilled to be pronounced the winners. Brown said that, while the competition was tough, it was an insightful experience for a student who had only completed half of their theoretical law learning.

‘Winning the competition opens the way to an exciting career path. Law is all about pushing oneself beyond the limits. Being a finalist and a winner motivates me to believe in my capabilities,’ he added.

Mathebula said: ‘It is an honour and privilege to be crowned moot champions for 2022. It was a fruitful journey that broadened my knowledge of the law in general and the specific law underlying the disputed claim.’

Awards and certificates were handed over to the winners and participants of the Moot Court competitions at the end of the event.

Words: Thandiwe Jumo and Samukelisiwe Cele

Photograph: Thandiwe Jumo