A team of South African Grade 11 learners has won the 5th International School Moot Court Competition in Gdynia, Poland.
The contest saw Team South Africa defeat Team USA in the final round following previous wins against competitors from Bulgaria, Romania, Mongolia, St Maarten, and Venezuela.
The contest replicated human rights-centered litigation before an international tribunal under the moot fact: “Scene of Conflict over the past decade in Tabanath”.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has congratulated the team for their victory stating that it is an achievement to be celebrated by all South Africans.
“Team South Africa has made our country proud again and our learners’ triumph demonstrates that when learners, educators, and parents work together, we can achieve great things,” President Ramaphosa said in a statement.
“This victory also tells us that our schools are effective in preparing young South Africans for life beyond the classroom and beyond the borders of our country.
“This should inspire all of us to work even harder to secure better education outcomes for all learners across our country,” he added.
There were a total of 15 team members from South Africa who traveled to Poland, consisting of eight pupils and seven officials.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has also congratulated the participating pupils, which include Sureshka Naidoo and Caitlin Schwarer of Eden College, Nondumiso Ntshangase and Nosipho Dube of Mathubesizwe High School in KZN, Mihlali Precious Stotile and Ondele Bede of Holy Cross; Okhela Sigwela and Lizalise Dlomo of Hudson Park High School in the Eastern Cape.
According to the DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga, it is not the first time that South Africa was represented in the International Moot Court competition, having participated in the last three editions of the competition, which were held in The Hague.
“It is not the first time South African learners have made the country proud in this competition. During 2014, 2016 and 2018 chapters of the International Moot Court Competition, South Africa obtained second, first and best presenter award after a strong-willed fight against other countries,” Mhlanga said.
The team arrived at OR Tambo International on Sunday and the pupils were given heroes welcome.
The International moot interschool competition is a global competition usually held in front of a mock International Tribunal where students act as counselors and advocate the different sides of a case based on a problem written by an organization or school.