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Witsies crowned 2015 African debating champs

- Wits University

Media release: Mighti Jamie and Nonhlanhla Masanabo were crowned overall winners at the Pan-African Universities Debating Championships.

The Wits Debating Union team has ended a five year drought at the Pan-African Universities Debating Championships. Mighti Jamie (a third year law student and social activist) and Nonhlanhla Masanabo (a first year law student), one of three teams that represented Wits University,  won the championships that were held from the 8 until 17 December 2015 at the University of Ghana in Accra.

These championships seek to examine the solutions to African and global challenges and to promote the discipline of debate which is critical to creating correct discourse in policy making and civic engagement. Teams from across Africa with diverse representations from Gambia, Nigeria, Togo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Liberia, Cameroon and others fruitfully contributed to the debates.

The Wits team was the last South African team in the final against Ghana, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The Wits team argued that the African Union should attempt to broker a deal with the International Criminal Court (ICC) that requires the indictment of George W Bush by the ICC in exchange for the enforcement of the already existing indictment of Omar Al Bashir by African states.

Jamie and Masanabo also scooped the top two individual speaker awards. Jamie was ranked the best debater in Africa for 2015 while Masanabo was ranked second overall.  Jamie was also the runner-up in the public speaking division.

Bongani Masilela, also from Wits University, was ranked fifth overall speaker in the tournament.

“These achievements are also a reminder that there are young people who are preparing to lead the continent into a new era with competence and with excellence.


“There is a community of young people stretching and reaching out to be better than the status quo. There are young people who still love to reason and to read and to challenge themselves,” said Jamie.

Wits teams:

Mighti Jamie and Nonhlanhla Masanabo

Naomi Lubinsky and Bongani Masilela

Rubin Valodia and Lebogang Moloko