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Summa Cum Laude Law Graduate Earmarked for Success

April 23, 2015

Graduating with an LLB summa cum laude, being awarded the Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship, being named as UKZN’s Distinguished Student for 2014- the highest honour a student can attain at UKZN - presented for academic excellence, university service and extensive community engagement, competing in the 2014 Ellie Newman Memorial Moot Court and being one of the students selected to serve in a clerkship programme facilitated by Judge Malcom Wallis at UKZN’s  School of Law are some of the achievements that pave the road to academic brilliance for Law graduate, Mr Musa Kika.
Summa cum laude pass for Law graduate Mr Musa Kika.

Graduating with an LLB summa cum laude, being awarded the Mandela-Rhodes Scholarship, being named as UKZN’s Distinguished Student for 2014- the highest honour a student can attain at UKZN - presented for academic excellence, university service and extensive community engagement, competing in the 2014 Ellie Newman Memorial Moot Court and being one of the students selected to serve in a clerkship programme facilitated by Judge Malcom Wallis at UKZN’s  School of Law are some of the achievements that pave the road to academic brilliance for Law graduate, Mr Musa Kika.

Kika is currently employed as an Assistant Researcher at the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit (DGRU), an applied research unit within the Public Law Department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he is also studying towards an LLM in Public Law.

‘I was expecting to graduate summa cum laude but the reality of it all and the fact I have graduated with such distinction is overwhelming,’ said Kika.

‘These awards confirm my long-held belief that if you are determined to achieve something, only you can stop yourself from achieving that. I am the first person in my family to not only complete A level (matric equivalent), but to get a university degree … and it happens with a summa cum laude! Receiving these awards, I realise that I have a responsibility to use what I have achieved and the skills I have acquired to help those around me who are in need.

‘Going forward, this award has made me determined to achieve even more,’ said Kika.

Growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe, Kika's passion was to use Law to advance good governance, hence his passion for Human Rights, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law and his involvement in many activities outside the classroom to harness his skills.

During his first year, Kika was named among South Africa’s 100 Brightest Young Minds by the Brightest Young Minds Organisation.

Being part of the Clerkship programme in his third year he was able to research cases and prepared opinions on cases that Judge Wallis heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal. He also got a chance to debate them as a group with fellow Clerks, allowing him to put theory into practice.

As Editor-in-Chief of the UKZN Student Law Review which features articles, case notes and book reviews written by undergraduate and postgraduate Law students from UKZN’s Law School, he contributed to legal debates which shaped the country’s Constitutional democracy and South Africa’s legal system.

During his four years at UKZN, Kika represented the University in many forums including the 2nd International Conference of Human Rights Education in 2011, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association Law Students Conference in 2013, and the 9th Annual International Women Judges Association Conference (SA Chapter) also in 2013.

Being at the DGRU allows him to assist in conducting research in the Unit’s focus areas thus broadening his knowledge in various aspects of Law. He will be involved in two projects: The JSC Monitoring project and A scoping study on the expansion of the monitoring project to other African countries. This involves monitoring the judicial appointment process in other African jurisdictions.

Looking ahead, Kika plans to acquire more knowledge and make a valuable contribution to the Legal Profession.

‘I plan to join the Bar and practise in the areas of Constitutional law, Administrative law and Human Rights. In the long-term, I hope to contribute to African governance through institutions such as SADC and the AU, in the areas of the rule of law, good governance and human rights.'

Kika further said, ‘My LLB has given me the basic qualification to do this work, and a solid foundation on which to build in my expertise and knowledge.’

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