Oliver Tambo Moot Court


About Law

The wood used for fitting out the Court is African Cherry (Mimusops djave toxisperma, family Sapotaceae) from West Africa - where it is called Moabi or djave - with all the veneer cut from a single chosen log. The metal faceplates of each table are cut with the distinctive tribal geometric designs found in most parts of Southern Africa. The chairs on the bench are upholstered in kudu skin, and those for counsel and for the gallery in a pattern reminiscent of the designs of Central Africa.

Giving the bench both gravitas and earth texture, panels of sandstone from Naboomspruit in the North Western Cape adorn the wall behind. Discreetly appearing on one of the panels is a copy of a San painting at Sivella in the Cederberg mountains of the Cape, depicting a meeting of the people.

The judge's gavel is turned from red ivory, with a handle of desert ebony, a smallish, shrub-like tree which grows only in the dry river beds of the northern Richtersveld and southern Namibia.

On the back wall is a rare tent divider from Niger. It was hand woven in horizontal strips using sheep and goat's wool and cotton on a double heddle loom in the town of Tilleberi, up the River Niger, and is of a type used by the Tuareg nomadic tent-dwellers of the deserts of central and north Africa. The design and quality of the weave indicates that the divider was probably woven in anticipation of a marriage ceremony or other special event.