02 May 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa
UFS Debate Society
The UFS Debate Society led by example at the 2019 Jozi Rumble.

After competing in the Jozi Rumble final for six consecutive years, the UFS Debate Society won the competition – Africa’s largest intercollegiate debate open – for the second consecutive year. The tournament took place at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in April 2019.

After seven preliminary rounds, three UFS teams out of a total of 100 competing teams overall were placed in the top 16, earning them a place in the quarterfinals – where they faced each other. A composite team of UFS LLB graduate and LLM student, Lehakoe Masedi, and a partner from Wits beat all teams, qualified for the final themed ‘This house regrets the glorification of opulence in popular culture’, and won the league.

“It was one of the most validating moments of my entire debating career; everybody wants to win the Jozi Rumble, and to have done it and to be the best speaker is truly amazing,” said Lehakoe. The top-ranking speaker at the tournament added that she had been working hard, and that she is glad that her efforts are coming full circle.

The UFS sent six teams overall to the tournament, including two novice teams competing in their first-ever intercollegiate debate tournament. 

“Speaking at the Jozi Rumble debate tournament for the first time was truly an educational experience; it exposed me to the dynamics of varsity-level debating,” said Simphiwe Yana, debater in of the UFS novice teams.

The UFS speaking squad consisted of Lehakoe Masedi, 2018 Abe Bailey Bursary victor and Rhodes scholarship recipient Nkahiseng Ralepeli, Khotso Khokho, Siyanda Rixana, Morena Moabi, Simphiwe Yana, Luvuyo Shoco, Asemahle Noholoza, and Nontobeko Msimangu. Former Chairperson of the UFS Debate Society and Editor-in-Chief of the IRAWA newspaper, Tshiamo Malatji, was also present at the tournament as the Tabulation Director. 

On 11 May 2019, the UFS will travel to the University of Pretoria to defend yet another debate open title at the Pretoria Parlay Intervarsity. 

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