Pupils feel world of politics

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Meet one of South Africa's future political movers and shakers, Reginald Malope, who is a Grade 12 pupil and keen debater from Mashishing Secondary School in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga.

Malope, pictured, is one of several local pupils who excelled during the 2009 Model United Nations conference at Cornell University in New York in the US recently.

The Model United Nations conference simulates the UN General Assembly and/or UN Security Council, helping pupils to experience the dynamic world of diplomacy and negotiations

Malope, together with North West's Constance Gaanakgomo, were in a delegation that won the best delegation accolade. It was chosen from a range of workshops, circuit, district, regional, provincial up to the national contest in Cape Town last October.

It was also organised by the youth-led Model United Nations South Africa for Education Africa, a non-governmental organisation.

All the local top achievers at the recent Model United Nations conference in the US are:

l Tsholofelo Tema of Gauteng and Northern Cape's Joyce Pooe, who debated issues handled by the UN's Disarmament and Security Committee;

l Tshegofatso Malope and Constance Gaanagomo, who scooped kudos for the most outstanding delegates award;

l Meladi Manamela of Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal's Thandukwazi Buthelezi, who debated on issues dealt with in the UN's Development Programmes;

l Kudzai Nyaumbe of KwaZulu-Natal and Free State's Masabata Mde, who won the most honourable delegate and best delegate awards respectively, while debating on issues relating to Truth and Reconciliation Commissions;

l Dexter Munnik of Eastern Cape, who got the best delegate in a committee accolade, while competing in a debate on issues affecting the World Health Organisation;

l Nicholas Greig of Western Cape, who garnered the most outstanding delegate award while discussing issues involving the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change;

l Verusha Mudaly and Sarah Hewitson of KwaZulu-Natal, who were given the most honourable delegate and best delegate awards, while arguing about topics dealt with in the UN High Commission for Refugees.