Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation on 02/06/2023


The FW de Klerk Foundation is pleased to share the success of the recent inter-school debate, organised in collaboration with The National Foundations Dialogue Initiative (NFDI) and held at King David Victory Park High School on 29 May. 

The event revolved around the pertinent topic: “This house believes absolute free speech is essential for a functional democracy”. It was a showcase of the Foundation’s commitment to engaging with the youth and fostering critical thinking among the future leaders of our nation. 

The participating schools, Randfontein High School and King David School, presented opposing viewpoints on the motion, ensuring a stimulating and thought-provoking discussion. The debaters displayed remarkable eloquence and analytical prowess, captivating the audience with their impassioned arguments and intellectual exchanges.

During the introductory remarks, the Foundation, represented by research intern Ismail Joosub, highlighted the ongoing work of the FW de Klerk Foundation, with a particular focus on empowering and nurturing the youth. The collaborative effort between the Foundation and the NFDI was underscored, emphasising the importance of fostering constructive dialogue on crucial societal issues.

The debaters from Randfontein High School passionately argued in favour of absolute free speech as a fundamental cornerstone of a functional democracy. They eloquently articulated how unhindered expression cultivates transparency, accountability, and the relentless pursuit of truth, which are vital for a thriving democratic society.

Contrarily, the representatives from King David School put forth though-provoking counterarguments. They emphasised the need for certain limitations on speech to protect individuals from harm, prevent the spread of hate speech, and maintain social cohesion within our diverse society. 

Following a rigorous and intellectually stimulating exchange of these differing viewpoints, the judges of the debate declared King David School as the winners, acknowledging their compelling and persuasive perspective on the role of free speech in a functional democracy. The students from both schools displayed exceptional skill and dedication throughout the event, showcasing their commitment to informed discourse and respectful engagement.

To honour the dedication and hard work of all participants, the FW de Klerk Foundation and the NFDI awarded medals to each debater, acknowledging their outstanding efforts in articulating their viewpoints with passion and conviction. These medals serve as a testament to their intellectual exploration and democratic principles.

As a gesture of appreciation to the audience for their support, time and engagement, a selection of refreshments was provided, allowing attendees to enjoy the stimulating event in a convivial atmosphere. The Foundation was delighted to create an environment that put a spotlight on camaraderie and competitive creativity.

The Foundation extends its heartfelt appreciation to all those who supported and attended the debate. Your commitment to promoting vibrant democratic discourse among young minds is instrumental in shaping a brighter future for our nation.

Together, let us continue to champion the values of dialogue, tolerance, and open-mindedness in our pursuit of a stronger and more inclusive democracy.

 Visit bit.ly/43l1c5F to watch the debate.