National awards honour great young minds

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


National awards honour great young minds

South Africa’s greatest minds were honoured this past weekend for their performance in the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) for high school learners.

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) annual awards function took place on the 23rd of September at the Krystal Beach Hotel, Gordon's Bay.Timothy Schlesinger (Rondebosch Boys’ High) was awarded the prize for top senior (grades 10 to 12) learner and Andi Qu (St. Johns College) for top junior (grades 8-9) learner of the SAMO.  Western Cape once again dominated the evening with 10 national winners, namely Danielle Kleyn (Hoërskool Parel Vallei), Emmanuel Rassou (Panorama Primary School), Jean Weight (Curro Hermanus), Joey Forman (Herzlia High School), Ralph McDougall (Curro Durbanville), Razeen Parker (Rondebosch Boys’ High), Timothy Schlesinger (Rondebosch Boys’ High), Emil Tredoux (Parklands College), Emil van der Walt (Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck) and Adri Wessels (Curro Durbanville).

The other runners-up are Kgaogelo Bopape (Horizon International High School), Rupam Ghosh (British International College), Joel Haggis (Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg),  Jessica James (St. Stithians Girls’ College), Yi Lou (St. Peters College), Wisdom Omodiagbe (The Ambassadors College), Faran Steenkamp (Thomas More College),James Louw (Hoërskool Hartbeespoort), Aaron Naidu (Eden College) and Garam Park (Waterford Kamhlaba).

A prize for the best performing learner and school per quintile for the SAMO was awarded for the first time this year.  Lodirile Secondary School in Mogale City, Krugersdorp performed exceptionally well and walked away with the prize for the top performing quintile 2 school, as well as the best junior (Kegomoditswe Seleke)  and senior (Anthony Sibambo) quintile 2 learners.The award to the top performing and best performing quintile 5 school was awarded to Rondebosch Boys’ High School.

Maxwell Pirikisi, Divisional Director of Group Stakeholder Management at Liberty would like to congratulate the students who have made top honours in the South African Mathematics Olympiad this year. “2017 is a special year for Liberty as we celebrate 60 years of guiding South Africans towards financial freedom. Through the tenacity and vision that our founder Sir Donald Gordon put into pioneering and growing Liberty into the great organisation it is today, we have had the opportunity to partner with and sponsor important initiatives such as the SAMO. Education is an agent for change in our communities and our continent at large. It exposes our youth to the boundless opportunities that they have access to irrespective of their geographical location. We would like to encourage these students to continue on their journey with dedication and excellence to build positive and lasting legacies regardless of the fields of study they choose to pursue."

The South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC) for primary schools also awarded prizes to the best performing schools. Sweet Valley Primary walked away with the prize for the best performing quintile 5 and best performing overall school for the 2nd consecutive year. Other schools which were awarded prizes included Masumpa Primary School (Best Performing Quantile 1),Gontse Primary School (Best Performing Quintile 2),Thembani Primary School (Best Performing Quintile 3) and Kwamondi Primary School (Best Performing Quintile 4). 

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. The best learners will be selected to represent South Africa at the2018 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) and Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO). 

Complete list of recipients. 





Junior division (Grades 8 to 9)

Kgaogelo BOPAPE                Gr 9        Horizon International High School

Rupam GHOSH                    Gr 9        British International College

Joel HAGGIS                       Gr 9        Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg

Jessica JAMES                     Gr 9        St. Stithians Girls College

Danielle KLEYN                    Gr 9        Hoërskool Parel Vallei

Yi LOU                                Gr 8        St. Peter’s College

Wisdom OMODIAGBE           Gr 9        The Ambassadors College

Andi QU                              Gr 9        St. John's College

Emmanuel RASSOU              Gr 7        Panorama Primary School

Faran STEENKAMP                Gr 9        Thomas More College

Jean WEIGHT                        Gr 9        Curro Hermanus



Senior division (Grades 10 to 12)

Joey Forman                      Gr 12     Herzlia High School

James Murray Louw         Gr 12     Hoërskool Hartbeespoort

Ralph McDougall              Gr 11     Curro Durbanville

Aaron Naidu                      Gr 10     Eden College

Garam Park                        Gr 12     Waterford Kamhlaba, Swaziland

Razeen Parker                   Gr 11     Rondebosch Boys’ High

Tim Schlesinger                 Gr 11     Rondebosch Boys’ High

Emile Tredoux                   Gr 11     Parklands College

Emil van der Walt             Gr 10     Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck

Adri Wessels                      Gr 10     Curro Durbanville





Best performing S.A. Black learner             (Junior)                 Kgaogelo Bopape (Horizon International High School)      

                                                                           (Senior)                Malwande Nkonyane (Horizon International High School)


Best learner from outside South Africa (Junior)                     Wisdom Omodiagbe (The Ambassadors College)

                                                                        (Senior)                   Garam Park (Waterford Kamhlaba)           


Top performing Quintile 1 learner (Junior)                              PB Letsoenyo (Lere la Thuto Secondary School)

                                                               (Senior)                            NM Senooane (Mookodi Secondary School)


Top performing Quintile 2 learner (Junior)                              KR Seleke (Lodirile Secondary School)

                                                                (Senior)                           AO Sibambo (Lodirile Secondary School)

Top performing Quintile 3 learner (Junior)                              T Ngwato (Litshovhu Secondary School)

                                                                (Senior)                           PM Manyela (Hector Peterson High School)


Top performing Quintile 4 learner (Junior)                              MJ Rossouw (Cathcart High School)

                                                                (Senior)                           GK Rencken (Wartburg Kirchdorf School)


Top performing Quintile 5 learner (Junior)



Neat 3rd Round solution (Junior)                                               S Rajoo (Durban Girls’ High School)





Top participating school                                                             St Stithians Girls’ College

                                                                                                         Bishops Diocesan College

                                                                                                         Wynberg Boys’ High School


Top participating new school                                                    Saulridge Secondary School

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