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UKZN Accounting Programmes Retain SAICA Accreditation
March 02, 2017
Winning the annual Ellie Newman Moot Court competition, beating 320 participants by showcasing outstanding legal skills, is a sure sign that fourth-year Law student Mr Elisha Kunene is equipped for success in the legal profession.
Kunene competed in the Moot final - hosted by the School of Law in Durban - alongside finalists Ms Jolene Thompson, Mr Andile Mabaso and Mr Connor Alexander.
The finalists displayed their legal prowess in front of judges, Law School academics Professor Karthy Govender, Ms Lindiwe Maqutu, Professor Tanya Woker and Mr Vishal Surbun as well as family and friends.
A highlight at the final was third-year Law student Mr Andile Mcineka being awarded the Yunus Mohammed Public Interest Law Award by Madam Justice Dhaya Pillay for his article: “Winnie Getting the Short End of the Stick”, which was published in The Sunday Tribune.
The award recognises Mcineka’s valuable contribution to knowledge in the field of public law.
‘There was depth in his argument; he drew on judgments in a coherent manner; it was a pleasure interacting with him…’ these were some of the comments made by the judges on Kunene’s performance before his announcement as the winner which was greeted with resounding applause and a standing ovation from the audience.
‘Winning the Ellie Newman award means the world to me. It’s literally a dream come true. My time in ‘varsity has been quite difficult in a number of ways but I was determined to finish strongly and I sort of viewed this year as a rebuilding period,’ says Kunene.
‘Earlier in the year a good friend of mine and I won the Southern African National Debating Championships and I ranked first in the country. So I really feel like God is with me on this winning streak.’
The great debater who used his skills to coach school debating teams to generate funds for his university tuition got academic merit scholarships from UKZN for his first and second year. However, monetary challenges nearly saw Kunene being financially excluded in his second year.
‘In a remarkable turn of events I was able to stay and complete my studies thanks to a generous intervention by Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm and I parted ways this year but I will always be grateful to them and to everyone else who have contributed to keeping me going,’ he said.
Looking to the future, Kunene said: ‘I have been granted the great privilege of being accepted to clerk for Justice Raymond Zondo at the Constitutional Court next year.’ His long-term plans include becoming an advocate.
Accounting programmes run by UKZN’s School of Accounting, Economics and Finance remain accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) following a recent review by the Institute.
The SAICA review was held to assess whether the accounting programmes still met all the requirements for continuous accreditation.
The result of the review was provided in the form of a detailed report released to the School this month.
‘The outcome of the SAICA review was a rating of 2, meaning the School’s Accounting programmes remain accredited,’ said the School’s Acting Dean and Head, Dr Mabutho Sibanda. ‘The School is pleased with the outcome but expected a higher rating.’
SAICA ratings range from 1 to 3 - 1 is full accreditation with no improvements required, 2 is accredited but requiring improvement and 3 is accredited but needing immediate improvement.
Sibanda said the School was working on various additional interventions to not only improve throughputs but to ensure the School attains a No 1 rating.
‘We shall continue to strive for excellence in all aspects relating to the accreditation of the programmes and we hope to receive a rating of 1 in the near future,’ he added.
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