Rhodes students shine at annual Moot trials

By Chanel Pallent

Grenwille and Raja

Pic:  Helen Kruuse 

This year’s annual Moot trial proved yet another success for Rhodes law students. The Moot trial offers a hands-on experience in the law faculty and involves a prestigious mock trial, judged by some of the most prominent figures in South African law. Mrs Liz Davies, the Legal Theory 1 course co-ordinator, encouraged the whole Legal Theory 1 class to enter the competition, as Moot trials form part of the Legal Theory syllabus later on in the degree.

 After handing in a written compilation of their heads of argument, four students were chosen to go through to the next round. The four students were then split into teams of two; team one being Zamakhize Mkhize and James Ekron, and team two consisting of David Grenville and Viren Raja.
The final Moot trial took place on 10 October 2008. Rhodes University teams competed and argued against several universities, including the University of Pretoria and the University of the Orange Free State. After a gruelling first round, the nine teams were whittled down to six and the competition was moved to the Supreme Court of Appeal. Rhodes participant Grenville described the experience as nothing short of amazing. The participants also had the opportunity to meet with the judges who were judging their cases. Judge Joos Hefer is one example, and was one of the esteemed judges involved in the Hansie Cronje case in 2000. Grenville describes his encounter with Judge Hefer as somewhat awe-inspiring. Out of the four Moot tournaments that have taken place, Rhodes has won the competition twice. Judge Joos Hefer, upon finding out that Grenville was from Rhodes University, immediately said “I hope you guys lose. It’s time to give another university a chance”.
The competition concluded with team two, David Grenville and Viren Raja, coming in second place overall and David Grenville taking away the prestigious Best Speaker’s award.


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