On Wednesday, 12 May 2021, the University of Venda (UNIVEN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Black Lawyers Association (BLA)-Legal Education Centre. BLA – Legal Education Centre proposed to make available appropriate and necessary Trial Advocacy Training to all UNIVEN final year LLB students. The signing of this MoU took place at UNIVEN Council Chambers.
The Chairperson of Board of Trustees, Adv Mc Caps Motimele SC said this MoU will help mould the reputation of UNIVEN School of Law as one of the leading faculties in the country which provides high calibre graduates who become leaders in the profession. Adv Motimele emphasised that, this is a strategic initiative, “and we are excited that UNIVEN is the first higher education institution to sign the collaboration agreement of this nature with BLA- Legal Education Centre.”
He indicated that among his delegates, there was Advocate Fhumulani Mbedzi, who is a UNIVEN LLB graduate. Adv Mbedzi graduated at UNIVEN in 2015. He is currently a Legal Researcher at BLA- Legal Education Centre.
When concluding his talk, Adv Motimele congratulated Dr Nthambeleni and the University at large for the vision and signing of this collaboration agreement. He further thanked the Dean of the School of Law, Prof Lonias Ndlovu, for his spirited interest and hard work in finalising the MoU.
UNIVEN Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Bernard Nthambeleni indicated that UNIVEN has been associated with the Black Lawyers Association, and the Black Lawyers Association – Legal Education Centre for a long time. He said members of the Black Lawyers Association have been providing training to UNIVEN final year LLB students in trial advocacy without any formal arrangement such as a Memorandum of Understanding.
“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding today will put a formal seal to the association of the Black Lawyers Association-Legal Education Centre and the University of Venda. UNIVEN has always benefited and appreciated the trial advocacy training, which is very important in the practical legal training of final year law students and supplements the clinical training offered by the Law Clinic.”
Dr Nthambeleni highlighted that, in line with the UNIVEN’s new strategic plan of positioning the University for relevance and impact, and further, in the context of being a student-centred University steeped in engaged scholarship, the importance of signing this Memorandum of Understanding cannot be gainsaid. He mentioned that one of UNIVEN’s positioning statements encapsulated in the University’s strategic plan is to expand the University’s influence beyond Limpopo Province by emphasising the University’s unique identity.
“In this regard, we view the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding as a right step towards the path of realising that objective.”
He concluded his address by mentioning that two prominent members of the BLA who are associated with UNIVEN are Justice Dikgang Moseneke, who will have a public lecture named after him in 2021- Justice Moseneke Annual Lecture “and our new Chancellor, Adv Mojanku Gumbi, who was the Director of the Black Lawyers Association-Legal Education Centre from 1992-1993.”
In his welcome Address, Dean: School of Law, Prof Lonias Ndlovu said BLA is doing a very sterling job of training LLB final year students throughout the country. He highlighted that this formal relationship between UNIVEN and BLA- Legal Education Centre will bear the best results. “We saw a need to have this kind of MoU because when we are looking at how practical aspects of law ought to be taught and the time required to cover the scope of such training, we realised that some aspects would fall by the wayside and not receive the attention they deserve, and that’s where this kind of formalisations comes in.”
President of BLA Student Chapter, Mr Junior Ntokozo Magagula, a UNIVEN third year LLB student was excited about this formal collaboration agreement. He said it is a good thing that we have such initiatives that will provide skills to our students before they graduate. “This is to ensure that UNIVEN produces skilled graduates who are locally relevant and globally competitive.”
The signing of MoU was facilitated by the Acting Director: Legal Services, Adv Eric Nemukula.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Prof Jan Crafford, gave a vote of thanks and wished for a fruitful reward from this MoU because this MoU will also assist in the positioning the University for impact and relevance.
Adv Mc Caps Motimele and Dr Bernard Nthambeleni holding signed copies of the MoU.
Department of Marketing, Branding and Communication
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525 /8710
Date: 21 May 2021