The University of Johannesburg (UJ) recently competed in the annual Kader Asmal Moot hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The team comprised of Ms Rethabile Maboko and Mr Unathi Xokiso and was coached by Mr Louis Koen (Assistant Lecturer), Ms Smantha Smit (Moot Court Tutor), Ms Meghan Finn (Lecturer) and Mr Odwa Dokomfana (Moot Court Tutor).
The Moot case related to a group of people who were evicted by the city after the city and the provincial government sold the land they were living on. It also involved a nursing home that had imposed a mandatory vaccination policy on all employees to protect the home’s vulnerable residents.
In the final round, the team faced off against UWC before a bench of five judges. The team represented the Respondents, i.e. the city that had evicted people during the pandemic and the nursing home that imposed a mandatory vaccination policy.
They argued that the Applicant’s case was fatally flawed because of several procedural irregularities which limited the court’s ability to hear the matter. The judges were impressed by the technical legal arguments made by the Respondent.
Mr Xokiso said the following regarding the experience: “It was a learning experience for me especially because of the fact that I had never participated in a moot court competition before. Working with my moot court coaches Ms Smit and Mr Koen, and my moot court partner, Ms Maboko, made the mooting journey meaningful and fun. From the beginning of this journey, they have been my family as I always felt I belonged, heard and understood whenever I was with them. This changed my outlook on mooting and greatly enhanced my confidence.”
Ms Maboko echoed this and added: “The moot court was academically and personally enriching. Slowly, mooting becomes a quiet journey of self-awareness.”
The team won not only the overall competition but also the prize for the best heads of argument, and Ms Maboko was awarded the second best oralist prize. The coaches also shared that they are indebted to the Faculty of Law for all of its support, as without it, the moots that give students these opportunities would not be possible.