Four Law students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) won the inaugural Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) debate that was recently hosted at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).
Ms Tinotenda Mparutsa (LLM), Ms Melissa Dlamini (LLM), Mr Thabang Mothapo (3rd year LLB) and Mr Nyiko Chauke (3rd year LLB) mesmerised a six-member panel of adjudicators with robust and sound ideas when they competed in Pretoria on 25 February 2020.
The debate focused on a range of the most pressing issues currently facing the labour market in South Africa. In particular, the students had to make proposals on measures that could be taken to ensure that human progress is placed at the centre of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This had to be addressed against the backdrop of the high youth unemployment rate in South-Africa.
The students were given some questions to prepare beforehand, but upon qualifying for the final session the students were given an entirely new debate topic. They were then given approximately two minutes to prepare arguments.
“We competed against a mix of students from the Vaal University of Technology and the Tshwane University of Technology in the competition. Personally, this has been an amazing experience especially competing at this level. What I could say to young people out there is that our country is currently undergoing economic, social and political changes and I wish to encourage the youth that we should allow our current circumstances to determine our future. It makes no sense to merely focus on the problems, rather let’s come together as the youth to bring about innovative solutions which can help us moving forward,” Ms Melissa Dlamini, LLM student in Intellectual Property.
The team emerged victorious in the competition under the tutelage of Mr Luis Koen (Law Mentor and LLD student), Ms Kgomotso Mokoena (Lecturer) and Ms Katleho Letsiri (Assistant Lecturer). The coaches were assisted in the selection by Ms Meghan Finn (Lecturer).
“I am pleased the news of the UJ Faculty of Law Team of our students who have has just won the inaugural CCMA debate. In the final round, 5 out of 6 panellists voted in favour of UJ for the win. This is good news not only to the Faculty of Law, but the entire University community, I am proud of our students, their coaching team and colleagues who were involved behind the scene,” says Prof Letlhokwa Mpedi, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at UJ.
As part of the prize, the CCMA is exploring mentorship opportunities for the students. The students could potentially be mentored by the Director of the CCMA or other senior commissioners.