Moot Court competition promotes the Constitution and its values to the youth.
Gomotsegang Montsho and Kimberly Letswe are the winners of the 2014 Schools Moot Court competition.
The grade 11 learners from Grenville High School in Rustenberg, North West, came out tops as forty teams made up from learners from all nine provinces competed for top honours in this prestigious competition.
Now in its fourth year, the competition is a collaboration between the Departments of Basic Education, Justice and Constitutional Development and the University of Pretoria Law Faculty.
The purpose of the competition is to promote the Constitution and its values, particularly amongst young people. Contestants are provided with the facts of a hypothetical case, which involves constitutional issues and they are then tasked with writing two essays, defending the opposing sides of the case, using the South African Constitution. The teams with the best essays then represent their provinces at the finals, which were held at Constitution Hill from 11-12 October 2014.
The finalists presented their case in the Constitutional Court, with Justices of the Constitutional Court, Mbuyiseli Madlanga and Sisi Khampepe, as well as High Court Judge, Jody Kollapen, presiding. They were supported by Professor Ann Skelton of the University of Pretoria and the Vice Chairman of the General Council of the Bar, Advocate McCaps Motimele SC.
Delivering the keynote address before the final, Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mr Enver Surty, noted the benefits of such competitions.
“The Bill of Rights of the Constitution is the cornerstone of our democracy,” said the Deputy Minister. “And it is fitting that as we celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy that we have such bright young minds as we have here today, engaging with this important document.”
Deputy Minister Surty added that the education system was based on three pillars – skills, knowledge and values – and the values enshrined in the Constitution must inform the values we want for our future leaders.
“All rights are interlinked, and no rights are absolute. Rigorous debate strengthens our democracy and it is important to remember that rights come with responsibilities,” concluded Deputy Minister Surty.
The fourth Moot Court competition was a great success with participation from all nine provinces from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. The competition also creates the opportunity for the contestants to celebrate the diversity of the country and develop new friendships. It was heartening that so many parents attended in support of their children. The winners of the competition are given a bursary to study law at a university of their choice.