The Wits Debating Union (WDU) has continued with its domination of the National Universities Debating Championships by claiming the title for the third consecutive year.
Wits students, the defending champions, retained their title as the National Debating Champions and completed their campaign by winning eight of the 12 awards at the annual Championships which took place last month at the University of Limpopo. Overall, Wits has won the tournament six times making it the University with the most wins.
The 2012 tournament attracted over 400 university students from across the Southern African Developing Community (SADC) who convened for the biggest intellectual battle on the continent. The Universities of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Namibia were among those, apart from the South African universities, who sent their best orators to represent their institutions.
The WDU’s latest win has been met with cheer and pride from the University. Prof. Rob Moore, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Advancement and Partnerships at Wits, hosted a function for the students in recognition of their outstanding achievements earlier this week. The event also served as the official handover of the trophies to the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof. Loyiso Nongxa.
Nongxa said the Union’s accomplishment bolstered the University’s reputation. “Wits can only be successful if those that learn, teach and work in it can be described as achievers,” he said.
Jamie Mighti, President of the Union and a law student, said the team owes its success to the intense training and commitment from its members who are in pursuit of and find joy in the mastery of the skill. The student society also draws on the diverse knowledge of its members who come from various faculties, and recognise that there is power in eloquence and persuasive discourse.
Some of the notable accolades amassed by the team include: Best Adjudicator 2012; Best New Speaker 2012; Second Overall Speaker English as a First Language; Second Overall Speaker English as a Second Language; Second Overall Public Speaking; Fourth Overall Speaker English as a First Language and Finalists English as a Second Language.
Title owner of the Best New Speaker award and BA student, Michael McKlin, said he loves debating because it provides him with appreciation for those with different opinions and are able to defend their perspectives with passion.
The Dean of Student Affairs, Prem Coopoo commented that the WDU was one of the best performing student societies at Wits that displayed exemplary governance. “It is their approach to life, values and integrity that sees them officiating in heated student affairs, in events that lead to the election of the Students’ Representative Council,” she said.