Wynberg Girls’ High School learners part of winning team in National Schools Moot Court Competition
26 October 2022
Jessi Francis, a Grade 11 learner at Wynberg Girls’ High School (WGHS), was named the best oralist at the 2022 National Schools Moot Court Competition.
The competition is a joint initiative of the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development under the guidance of the South African Human Rights Commission and is supported by the University of Pretoria. The National Schools Moot Court Competition is a platform to raise awareness in schools and communities in South Africa about the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and the values that it embodies through active participation. The aim is also to encourage young people to consider pursuing a legal career.
Jessi and Nicole Mufudze, a fellow Grade 11 learner at WGHS, made it into the top four teams in the provincial round and represented the Western Cape at the national leg of the event.
Thabiso Mazaleni and Tsebo Sesoana of Desmond Mpilo Tutu High School, Amelie Brits and Zanele Tshazibane of Hermanus High School, and Steffan Thielen and Altus du Plessis of Paul Roos Gymnasium were the other Western Cape representatives.
Teams from across the country presented their arguments on a hypothetical case. This year’s case revolved around a pregnant learner's constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of association and education.
The preliminary rounds started on Thursday, 06 October 2022 and culminated on Sunday, 10 October 2022.
The team from Desmond Mpilo Tutu High School made it to the semi-finals. They can hold their heads high because they were part of the team of five from their school that won the coveted Project Citizen provincial title for 2022, a mere few days earlier at Groote Schuur High School.
The final round of the competition took place at the Constitutional Court in front of a full bench of judges and was streamed live on the DBE’s YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/-ihyMpmnV_M).
The WGHS team joined forces with the team from Ntsikayethu Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal in the final round. They presented arguments on behalf of the applicant and emerged as the winners at the end of the day.
Judge Jody Kollapen said both teams impressed the members of the judiciary with the quality of the research that went into the submissions. He praised Jessi for her ability to think on her feet and calm demeanour.
The presiding officers echoed their collective astonishment at the high level of competition. Many said that the teams were competing at a level not even seen in High Courts. Some said that they wished that they were so good when they were at school.