A full bench of North West High Court judges presided over the annual North-West University (NWU)-Juta Mock Trial finals held at the High Court in Mahikeng on 7 August 2023.
Leading the panel was Deputy Judge President Tebogo Djaje, accompanied by esteemed justices Francies Reid, André Petersen and Myron Dewrance.
North West Judge President Ronald Hendricks viewed the proceedings from the gallery.
The NWU-Juta Mock Trial competition is the brainchild of Adv René Koraan,senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law. She saw it as an opportunity for second- and third-year students to gain much-needed experience.
“Students voluntarily participate in the competition, which is a clear indication of their eagerness and willingness to learn,” she says.
She adds that the mock trial competition is an ideal opportunity to foster a passion for law and to establish a spirit of collegiality, with the main objective being to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
“Students do not just want to win the competition – they are eager to learn and to put in the extra work to be better. We should never underestimate the impact of such competitions and workshops on the development of young aspiring lawyers.”
A team of second-year students from the Mahikeng Campus representing the defence was announced this year’s winners. Mahlodi Mamushi, Liyakhanya Nonkondlo, Liso Ngxoza and Coby Steenkamp were victorious in a domestic violence case in which the complainant had not only been assaulted, but the accused had also contravened the terms of a protection order.
The state team consisted of Micah Kruger, Juneen Dippenaar, Milia Botha, and Hein Steenberg who are third-year students at the Potchefstroom Campus.
The defence team and winners say the experience was amazing.
“At the start of our journey it would have been impossible to predict that we would be finalists, let alone winners. We are very proud of ourselves, but this would not have been possible without hard work and the support from our tutors, especially Mr Mogale and Mr Ramatabane. We must also give a shout to all the contestants who participated in the trials,” says Liyakhanya.
North West Judge President Hendricks says it was an honour to host the semi-final and the final rounds of the mock trials, and that he is impressed with the level of confidence displayed by the students.
Dr Neo Morei, executive dean of the Faculty of Law, says it was an honour and privilege for the university and the faculty that the mock trials could take place at the High Court.
“Not many universities have this opportunity, and we are grateful to the Judge President and his colleagues for availing their time and resources to give our students this unforgettable experience,” she adds.
Edmund Beerwinkel from Juta, the sponsors of the mock trials, says he was amazed by the standard of the trial.
“We are privileged as Juta to be associated with the NWU Mock trials.”
From left are Deputy Judge President Tebogo Djaje, Judge Francies Reid, Judge André Petersen, Judge Myron Dewrance, and Judge President Ronald Hendricks with Edmund Beerwinkel from Juta.
The defence team, a group of second-year students from the NWU’s Mahikeng Campus, were announced the winners of the 2023 NWU-Juta Mock Trials. They are Mahlodi Mamushi, Liyakhanya Nonkondlo, Liso Ngxoza and Coby Steenkamp.
Micah Kruger, Juneen Dippenaar, Milia Botha and Hein Steenberg represented the state in this year’s mock trials. They are third-year students on the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus.
Dr Neo Morei, executive dean of the Faculty of Law, addresses the attendees at the NWU-Juta Mock Trials.