Every Wednesday we will be featuring some of our current panel mediators. If you wish to be featured, email email@example.com
This time is statistically the best time to be online and it will go out to facebook, twitter and our blog, so the reach is extensive.
Here are today’s featured mediators:
ROGER ADAMS has worked in Student Affairs for 25 years dealing mostly with Student Leaders in areas such as mentoring, training, mediation and team building.
He has served as the Chairperson of the UCT black staff association for five years. He has held membership of the Institutional Forum for Employment Equity at UCT previously. He has served in the national elected office of the South Africa Student Sports Union for 17 years-a period which incorporated a three year chairpersonship of USSA (University Sport SA)’s disciplinary committee
His qualifications include a BA in Physical Education, a BA Honours in Physical Education, a Higher Diploma in Education, a certificate in Sports Law Management and he is a trained and accredited mediator with ADR Network SA, currently registered on our panel
To get in touch with Roger to enquire about his mediation services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
PAULA KENNEDY SMITH is a Hong Kong trained Lawyer with extensive experience in Litigation, mediation and arbitration in the UK, Hong Kong and SA. She obtained her LLB in Hong Kong and was involved in extensive cross harbour tunnel arbitration in Hong Kong. She studied English at UNISA just for pleasure. Her areas of expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution include commercial, business, community, family and workplace.
She is a trained an accredited ADR Network SA mediator and Arbitrator and has been a willing participant in our Access to Justice work in Cape Town, where she is based.
To get hold of Paula please email email@example.com
JOHANN DE WET is an attorney, construction specialist and trained and accredited mediator currently registered on our panel. He says:
“I was born and raised in Randburg Gauteng ,one of five children .I am happily married to my soulmate and school love(loutjie) for the past 18 years and have three beautiful children .I am a family man.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God” I grew up always trying to be a peacemaker ,needless to say that when I did my articles and practised at a litigation law firm in Johannesburg ,I was totally disillusioned with the aggressive nature of the litigation process. Law was not what I perceived it to be. I then moved to property development and residential construction .After a couple of years out of practise I met a person(Koos) who introduced me to Mediation and my whole being resonated with it. I searched and came into contact with Sheena, did the mediation course and after aligning myself with a couple of like-minded people formed a mediation group.
I believe if we can draft a group of people who are not only following the process of mediation but are mediators in heart and spirit we can change our country.”
Johann is Johannesburg-based. To get in touch with him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mediator Training accredited with ADR Network SA and The Access to Justice Association of SA:
16 to 20 Feb Durban/Jozi/Bloemfontein
16 to 20 March CT/PE
Included Court Annexed Mediation
To register EFT FNB 62488968888 br 223726
Amount: R 5999 if paid immediately ( ie 50 % discount) ; R 11 999 after 24/12 or R 1200 if paying over 12 months.
Court Annexed Mediation on the Thursday of each Program as a stand alone is R 1000 for those who have done prior 40 hour training. Payment reference is Surname/Centre/CAM
Tomorrow Oscar is sentenced. Friday we heard argument in mitigation of sentence and argument in aggravation of sentence. I have views on both.
In the first place the presence of a self-confessed contract killer in court last week, who previously made a deal with Gerrie Nel which bought him immunity from prosecution and the very consequences for killing another human being that Gerrie Nel speaks of, derogates Gerrie Nel’s credibility when he exhorts the judge and her assessors not to allow Oscar get away with the gravity of what he has done. It’s a pretty surreal context which we must process and ask ourselves some tough questions. I leave that to you.
Barry Roux on the other hand raises all the mitigating factors that would support application of restorative justice, but his fleeting and lightweight references to Ubuntu and Restorative Justice (although they may be elaborated on well in his heads of argument) do not demonstrate a profound understanding of or depth of insight into these concepts. I mention this because this was an ideal opportunity to sensitize society to restorative justice and I think it was lost.
I am not well-versed in the concept of Ubuntu philosophy except to the extent that it is supportive of restorative justice.
I am a strong advocate of restorative justice and it is central to what I do. And because of that I feel a responsibility to clear up a few things that have emerged in the societal debate around Oscar’s sentencing.
Number 1 is that restorative justice does not, by implication, only find application in petty crimes. On the contrary, Restorative Justice, and its application saw scores of individuals gaining amnesty for apartheid crimes. Heinous crimes. This process was central to the avoidance of civil war at the time. Why do we forget this so quickly. Allow me to take this opportunity to point out though that Restorative Justice is about Restoration and we are still in that process. This means that if we do not complete the process of restoring the land to those dispossessed of it, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is not only incomplete, but the amnesty granted for heinous crimes against humans must then be called into question. Further more, if we do not commit to economic transformation generally, the restorative process remains incomplete.
Number 2 is that my view is that the overwhelming desire of society to see Oscar go to prison is born out of societal bloodlust. Oscar is a product of violent society. I’m not talking about South Africa, I’m talking about humanity. Our bloodlust to see those who harm, harmed is a product of violent society. Our thirst for retributive justice over restorative justice is part of what keeps the spiral of violence alive.
Number 3 is that my view is that prison should be an absolute last resort reserved for those who absolutely cannot function in society and would be a danger to society. We kid ourselves when we think that retributive justice corrects, restores or rehabilitates. It is simply not so. We kid ourselves when we think that sending Oscar to prison will save any number of women and children’s lives. It’s not so. The spiralling cycle of perpetual violence born out of the notion that we must injure those who injure simply worsens the problem of violence.
If Oscar goes to prison, society gets what it wants for like five minutes and then what? What is achieved? All his energy is applied to getting his sentence displaced as we see in other matters.
There are other methods of bringing wrongdoers to account. Oscar should pay back his debt to society: but with his talent, with his resources, with the platform he has. Oscar needs to play a part in healing society from this kind of thing. He needs to have a chance to step back and focus on what he has done and how best he can make that up to society. I still don’t believe we have heard exactly what happened that night. I still believe the truth was massacred in court both ways. I still believe a restorative approach from the outset would have minimized fear and maximized potential for truth, accountability and ultimately healing and restoration. In prison, the chance of him reflecting on making good, making up to society are slim. In prison he will be pre-occupied with getting out.
The desire for revenge is a heavy burden to bear. And the collective desire for revenge can literally destroy us all. Redemptive violence has never ever proved itself effective in dismantling violence. Punishment and retribution is quick fix. It’s the easy answer. We have confused what justice really is with notions of punishment and making wrongdoers “pay”. Doing justice is about restoring the template. Making things right. Giving back dignity. Restoration and healing is much, much harder work. It requires wisdom, resilience and courage. It requires focus and commitment. It’s way easier to resign ourselves to the violent imagery and violent culture we are literally immersed in. We are immersed in violent imagery in entertainment and we have become really ok with it. The media pummels us with the violent of the world all the time. So obviously it’s our natural impulse to say those who injure, must be injured in return. Retributive yearnings go hand in hand with perpetual violence. It’s not good for any of us. We don’t know who we are anymore. And our survival, our very humanity depends on us all asking ourselves some tough questions.
The violence must stop. And it will never stop if we keep applying violent answers to the problem of violence. It just won’t.
Peace, by the presence of justice
Sheena St. Clair Jonker
ADR Network SA and the Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading for Peace: Leadership Program Johannesburg
Leaders learn to lead through the lens of restorative justice and peacemaking skills like mediation and managed dialogue. Also build courage and skills to interrupt injustice in order to work to build peace. Learn practical skills in community building and peacebuilding that can be applied within your sphere of influence.
When: Thursday 16 October 2014, 8:30am to 4pm
Where: 82 Maud Street, Sandton
To confirm, please EFT R 1000 to:
The Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa
Please email Proof of Payment together with your full names for Certificate of Attendance. Once confirmation is received, we will send your pre-reading material.
REMINDER: UPCOMINING TRAINING DATES
- FIVE DAY ADR PROGRAM IN MEDIATION AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DIALOGUE
Become an accredited mediator with ADR Network SA and The Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa. Upcoming dates are
13-17 October 2014 Bloemfontein
20-24 October 2014 Durban
27-31 October 2014 Cape Town
3-7 November Johannesburg
Ongoing one day workshops to fortify and supplement existing training with respect to specific aspects of Court Annexed Mediation as well as keeping abreast of unfolding developments in this project scheduled to pilot on 1 December
Dates of Training: 25 September Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg
Panellists: No cost
Past and existing trainees: R 200
All others: R 1000
Includes catering, manuals and certificates of attendance
Confirm your place by eft of the amount into
The Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa
Re: Surname/CAMdbn *CTN *JNB
NOTE: YOUR CONFIRMATION MUST BE IN TODAY
- Leading for Peace: Leadership Program
One day workshops in leadership. Learn alternative dispute resolution skills through the lens of restorative justice and mediation.
Cost is R 1000 including catering, manuals and certificate of attendance.
Cape Town 8 October
Johannesburg 16 October
Durban 28 October
The Access to Justice Association of Southern Africa
Re: Surname/LFPdbn *CTN *JNB
Please send all queries to email@example.com