Learners honoured for outstanding Mathematics Olympiad performances

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Learners honoured for outstanding Mathematics Olympiad performances

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) has honoured outstanding learners and teachers for their performance in the 2018 South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) and the South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC).

SAMF’s annual awards function took place on the 22nd of September in Stellenbosch. The First Round of the SAMO took place in March and more than 106 000 leaners from 1 303 schools participated this year. The Second Round took place in May of which 210 learners from a 100 schools went through to the Final Round on the 26th of July at centralised venues.Ralph McDougall (Curro Durbanville) was awarded the prize for the top senior (grades 10 to 12) learner and Emmanuel Rassou (South African College High School) for the top junior (grades 8-9) learner of the SAMO.

Ralph McDougall is a talented grade 12 learner who enjoys playing the piano and doing programming. He plans on studying Electronic Engineering next year at Stellenbosch University.  Ralph has represented South Africa at International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in 2017 and Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) in 2016 and was a runner-up in the 2017 SAMO. Emmanuel Rassou won a silver medal at the 2017 SAMO when he was still attending primary school. He enjoys athletics and has represented Western Province at hurdles. This grade 8 learner has more recently taken up cross-country and enjoys jogging up Table Mountain twice a week with his classmates. Emmanuel is part of the junior debating team of his school and loves a good argument.


The best performing senior black learner Kgaugelo Bopape, was also part of the South African 2018 PAMO team. The grade 10 learner from Horizon International School in Johannesburg won agold medal at the event. The 2018 SAMO best girl learner is Danielle Kleyn from Hoërskool Parel Vallei in Somerset West. She came fourth overall in the PAMO and was also crowned Queen of Africa for being the top girl.


The best performing schools in the country that received awards include Rondebosch Boys’ High School, who walked away with both awards for best performing overall school and best performing Quintile 5 School in the SAMO. Highveld Secondary School from Mpumalanga walked away with the top performing MST school and top performing Quintile 1 school. 

Another flagship project of the SAMF is the South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC) for grades 4-7 learners. The award to the top performing school and best quintile 5 school was awarded to Sweet Valley Primary School. A total of 73 159 learners form 735 schools participated in the First Round of the SAMC, of which 14 271 learners from 398 Schools qualified for the Final Round. 

The Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) grant is utilised by the provincial education department to pay the entry fee for learners participating in the SAMO and SAMC. The SAMO awarded prizes to top performing learners from MST grant schools for the first time. Tshimangadzo Mulaudzi from Mbilwi Secondary School in Thohoyandou and Neo Vorsatz from Pinelands High School in Cape Town both walked away with best junior MST learners’ award. Thuthuka Khumalo from Matheku Secondary School in Habeni, KwaZulu-Natal is the best senior MST learner.


CSI Project Manager Arthur Moeletsane of the Liberty Group a major sponsor of the SAMO, says that   "As a responsible financial service institution and a member of the Standard Bank Group, we would like to congratulate the students who have participated in the South African Mathematics Olympiad this year - particularly those who have made it to the top of the competition. In line with our purpose of improving people's lives by making their financial freedom possible, we are equally committed towards the empowerment of youth through education. Liberty has long recognise that education is an agent for change - hence our partnership with organisations like South African Maths Foundation (SAMF), whose primary objective is to address educational needs that are critical to the development of our youth. As Liberty, we therefore would like to encourage all students to take advantage of programmes such as the South African Mathematics Olympiad."


The SAMF programmes such as the prestigious SAMO are used to select and train learners for international competitions. Approximately sixty of our country’s best young mathematicians will be invited to an Olympiad camp in December at the University of Stellenbosch, thereafter the group will be trimmed down, in order for the best learners to be selected to represent South Africa at the2019 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO).  





Vivienne Banks                                 Grade 8                               Rustenburg Girls’ High School

Mohamed Z Cassim                         Grade 9                               St. David’s Marist Inanda

Yi Lou                                                 Grade 9                               St. Peter’s College

Jaedon Naidu                                   Grade 9                               Eden College Durban

Emmanuel Rassou                           Grade 8                               South African College High School

Christine Rossouw                           Grade 9                               Hoërskool Jim Fouché

Juliette Roux                                     Grade 8                               Herschel Girls’ School

Daniel Schlesinger                           Grade 8                               Rondebosch Boys’ High School

Emil Schnabel                                   Grade 9                               Hoërskool Stellenberg

André Toerien                                  Grade 9                               Rondebosch Boys’ High School



Ralph McDougall                             Grade 12                             Curro Durbanville

Taariq Mowzer                                 Grade 11                             Fairbairn College

Aaron Naidu                                     Grade 11                             Eden College Durban

Williams Okele                                 Grade 12                             Graceland International School

Razeen Parker                                  Grade 12                             Rondebosch Boys' High School

Timothy Schlesinger                        Grade 12                             Rondebosch Boys' High School

Du Toit Spies                                     Grade 12                             Parel Vallei High School

Emile Tredoux                                  Grade 12                             Parklands College

Emil van der Walt                            Grade 11                             Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck

Adri Wessels                                     Grade 11                             Curro Durbanville




Best performing S.A. Black learner             Junior                   Nqobile Mbaleki (Model Private School) 

                                                                           Senior                   Kgaogelo Bopape (Horizon International                                                                                                          High School)


Best learner from outside South Africa                                   Akinfoluhan Akinleye (The Ambassadors                                                                                             College)


Best girl learner                                                                            Danielle Kleyn (Hoërskool Parel Vallei)


Best MST learner                                            Junior                   Tshimangadzo Mulaudzi (Mbilwi Secondary


                                                                                                         Neo Vorsatz (Pinelands High School)

                                                                           Senior                   Thuthuka Khumalo (Matheku Secondary School)



Top performing Quintile 1 learner              Junior                   Asive Hlangane (Vulithuba School)

                                                                           Senior                   Elijah Mashishi (Highveld Secondary School)


Top performing Quintile 2 learner              Junior                   Stefanus Cilliers (Douglas Combined School)

                                                                           Senior                   Karabo Buthelezi (Lodirile Secondary School)


Top performing Quintile 3 learner              Junior                   Mzekelo Tukushe (Centre of Science and Technology)

                                                                           Senior                   Thutuka Khumalo (Matheku Secondary School)


Top performing Quintile 4 learner              Junior                   Francois Pieterse (Hoërskool Ferdinand                                                                                                             Postma)

                                                                           Senior                   Francois Grobbelaar (Ficksburg CSS)


Top performing Quintile 5 learner              Junior                   Emmanuel Rassou (South African College                                                                                                          High School)

                                                                           Senior                   Timothy Schlesinger (Rondebosch Boys’                                                                                                            High School)




Best performing overall school                                                 Rondebosch Boys’ High School


New school with best participation                                          Siphakeme Combined School


School with best participation                                                   Bedfordview High School

                                                                                                         Wynberg Boys’ High School

                                                                                                         Jeppe High School for Girls


Best performing Quintile 1 school                                            Mount Frere Commercial School

Best performing Quintile 2 school                                            Lodirile Secondary School

Best performing Quintile 3 school                                            Hector Petersen High School

Best performing Quintile 4 school                                            Hoërskool Middelburg (EC)

Best performing Quintile 5 school                                            Rondebosch Boys’ High School


Top performing MST school                                                       Highveld Secondary School





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