A RESTORATIVE JUSTICE view on #pennysparrow #chrishart #justinvanvuuren

New Years Day this year saw our beaches packed, as usual, with jubulent beach-goers. It also saw some South Africans taking to the social networks to vent deeply racist and hateful sentiment. Some of the posters were Penny Sparrow, apparently a former Estate Agent with Jawitz Properties, Justin Van Vuuren of FatTruckSA and Chris Hart, Senior Economist at Standard Bank.

Their actions have resulted in serious consequences. Penny Sparrow has been denounced by her former employer, has had threats levied at her and has been suspended from the DA. Justin Van Vuuren has lost his Future Life Sponsorship and Chris Hart has been suspended from Standard Bank. I understand that all three have had criminal charges laid against them.

And my response is: good

You may be surprised at this since I am a proponent of restorative justice. Well let’s take a look.
Punitive Justice asks:
What offence was committed?
Who committed the offence?
How should they be punished?

Restorative Justice asks:
What harm was done?
Who caused the harm?
Who suffered the harm?
How can we make things right?

One of the features of a restorative approach and the way I practice restorative justice is that unlike a punitive approach which often sees quick results that are unsustainable, a restorative approach emphasizes learning and growing through the process.
As a restorativist, sometimes it is a good thing to take a step back and allow those who offend to experience the natural consequences of their harmful behaviour. In this case the action of the three has lead to being made to feel unsafe in this world through threat of actual harm as well as threat of legal action as well as action that could very well expose them to economic detriment.
Am I happy that they have been made to feel unsafe. No, it’s not as simple as that. I could never say I am happy about any of this. But it is good that they are living the real consequences of their deeply hateful and harmful sentiments which were publically vented.
For too long restorative justice practitioners have light-weightedly regarded issues of race, gender and distribution of social power leading to the mindset that anything can be mediated. No, often other action is required before matters are ready for dialogue and often that action takes the form of natural consequences or action taken by a righteously angry citizenry.
It’s a good time for South Africans everywhere to watch and awaken to the fact that the type of thinking that the three expressed publically is every bit as harmful to all of us as a society as is violent crime. In fact this type of thinking which is the actual entitlement thinking, and has been for 400 years of Western entitlement ideology is what has landed our Country up as a deeply divided society and this makes violent crime and instability not justified so much as inevitable. And we need to be very honest with ourselves right now.
Does the action of the three exclude restoration? Absolutely not. In fact it may well catalyse a season of restoration if we are willing to be tough on ourselves and honest about the real problems. And one of the things we need to ditch is the argument on reverse racism. It lacks substance. Racism, properly understood is a system of advantage of one race over another. Transformation policies can never be regarded as reverse racism. They must, for all our sakes, be regarded as aspects of redress and reparative justice.

It’s important to know that a significant aspect of the restorative approach is insight into the harm we have caused or the harmfulness of our thinking and actions. Penny Sparrow at least seems to completely lack this insight. Cornel West states that the unexamined life is not worth living.

It’s time to take a good look around and look at how our brothers and sisters are living and its time for all of us to take transformation seriously. Constitutional expert, Prof Devenish once said: “we ignore land transformation at (ALL) of our own peril.”
Restorativism is about liberating both oppressors and the oppressed and Penny Sparrow, Chris hart and Justin Van Vuuren, your vile public spewing of hatred and the devaluing of our brothers and sisters might just have catalysed enough righteous anger for us to finish what the TRC was meant to have started: the actual reparation that is intrinsic to restoration.

Let’s starting talking about what that might look like.

As always, Peace
Sheena St. Clair Jonker
Mediation Training: training@adr-networksa.co.za
Processes: sheena@mediatorsa.co.za
Access to Justice: sheena@accesstojustice.co.za

Hope Farm Needs a Miracle


As many of you know Access to Justice and ADR Network SA have been involved in assisting a group of refugees displaced in the attacks in April. Our initial involvement was to instruct attorneys to assist in securing their release from jail after they were arrested in the wake of the closure of the Chatsworth refugee camp.

This particular group had refused to leave since they felt they could neither accept an offer of repatriation, nor could they accept an offer of re-integration. They felt, with what I have learned, good reason that their lives were in danger in their home countries and they had obviously not been kept safe in the place where they sought refuge: our country

A significant component in securing their release was having somewhere to go. That somewhere was Hope Farm and the story has been widely published across SA and also elsewhere. This was an emergency situation. Desperate adults were being arrested and their terrified children were being removed from them.

As we saw things initially, Hope Farm would be a very transitional space of refuge and also a place for those willing to assist in identifying solutions to go and consult with the group.

Over the past months we have been involved in mobilizing legal teams to ward off attacks from outside the gates in the form of prosecution of the owners, threats of removal of the children and threats of further arrest

We have also been involved in various other forms of dispute resolution process, the myriad of which is complex to unpack but can, I am sure, be well-imagined by all

But the world has changed since the beginning of July when the group was released from jail, re-united with their children and moved to Hope Farm. In subsequent weeks we saw literally thousands of desperate Syrian Refugees traversing the ocean to try to get to safety in Europe. The lifeless body of a Syrian toddler on a beach literally broke the heart of humanity and it seemed that for a time, the world had become a kinder place to refugees.

In recent weeks, Paris has been attacked and a state of emergency declared. It seems the attackers have tried to “frame” Syrian refugees as the perpetrators. Notwithstanding that if one really thought things through one would question the plausibility of bomb proof passports, in addition to reports that all the attackers were French Citizens, I understand of Algerian descent. And French history with Algeria contains its own painful complexities.

Be that all as it may, my message today is this: the world has once again become hostile to refugees.

We are under immense pressure to find a solution for a desperately traumatized group. And to tell you the God-honest truth, right now I have absolutely no idea what to do.

We have done our utmost to ward off legal attacks, we have done our utmost to keep the peace within, we have worked to gain insight into the resettlement process and if statistics I have come across are anything to go by, the average time it has taken to resettle refugees in third counties worldwide over past generations is eighteen years.

Right now we need a miracle.

The thing is, I happen to believe in miracles.

As always, Peace

Sheena Jonker

Training enquiries: training@adr-networksa.co.za

Refer a dispute: sheena@adr-networksa.co.za

Access to justice matters: humanrights@accesstojustice.co.za


ADR and Mediator Training for the rest of the year and early 2016


We have completed our 5 day training program schedule for this year. Distance Learning Remains open to register and complete.

5 Day Training Early 2016

5 day training will resume in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town on the last Monday to Friday of January, February and March 2016

You can register until 25 November 2015 at 50 {db4c0d2959e302539fe96b7aa3161328ff99665e8aefb664444410c6414dd29e} of the normal fee (ie R 5999 instead of R 11 999) on any of the above programs or the Distance Learning Programs

In addition to that concession the first 10 registrations will receive a smart watch compatible with apple or Samsung, up to the value of R 2000. Specs and available colours can be requested

1 Day training in various aspects of ADR

For the rest of the year we will host one day workshops. Next Friday’s is as follows:

We are holding a one day ARBITRATION TRAINING next week follows:

When: 20 November 2013

Where: 11 Delamore Road Hillcrest, Durban and Constitution Hill Johannesburg and TBC in  Cape Town

RSVP: training@adr-networksa.co.za

Cost: R 1000 payable to ADR Network SA FNB Number 62488968888 Br 223726

Includes: manuals and certificate of attendance

We are holding a one day workshop in UNDERSTANDING TRAUMA FOR MEDIATORS as follows:

When: 27 November 2013

Where: 11 Delamore Road Hillcrest, Durban and Constitution Hill Johannesburg and TBC in  Cape Town

RSVP: training@adr-networksa.co.za

Cost: R 1000 payable to ADR Network SA FNB Number 62488968888 Br 223726

Includes: manuals and certificate of attendance

Email: training@adr-networksa.co.za

Kindest regards

Sheena Jonker


Mobile: 0843773340

Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, Access to Justice, Restorative Justice

ADR Network SA (Pty) LTD sheena@adr-networksa.co.za for Private Dispute Resolution

ADR and Mediator Training training@adr-networksa.co.za

The Access to Justice Association of SA (NPO 135-398) sheena@accesstojustice.co.za for Access to Justice and Public Interest Matters




ADR Network SA featured Mediators



NARISSA HIRALALL is an attorney, partner in the firm Hiralall Attorneys and a member of the KZN Law Society. She is a CD/ACDS and CEDR-accredited Mediator. Narissa offers mediation services in Labour Law, Commercial Law, and various other areas. Narissa chairs disciplinary enquiries and represents parties at the CCMA and Bargaining Councils. She has joined the ADR Network SA panel.

Email: Narissa@adr-networksa.co.za



ROB RUSSELL Is a SAAM trained Family and Divorce Law Mediator, as well as a University of Pretoria trained Mediator and Arbitrator, I have an Advanced Cert in Labour Law as well as Dispute Resolution and various other certificates in Labour Law, Arbitration & Mediations. I developed a passion for Labour Law and Mediations/Arbitrations whilst serving as a Shop Steward for one of the largest Unions in the country, from there my interest in other branches of Mediations grew. I started my practice in 2007 and I am also a Mentor and Business Development Consultant to emerging Businesses in Mpumalanga. I am in the process of extending my services to the Northern Natal area. I am an ETDP SETA Assessor and I have facilitated training for the likes of Sasol, Univ of Polokwane and others.

Rob is a member of the ADR Network SA Panel

Email: rob@adr-networksa.co.za



ZAAHIRA TIRY (Qualifications – BCOM, LLB, LLM)

Zaahira Tiry founded ZTA Attorneys, the ZTA “Empire of Legal Expertise” in 2009. In 2014 Zaahira gave life to a peoples call for the formation of a regional political party in the Nelson Mandela Bay Region, namely the African Power Movement, known to all as “APM”.

As entrepreneur, lawyer, mediator, assessor, lecturer, public speaker and community leader – Zaahira stands united with power with her clients and all South Africans.

Zaahira is a member of the Standing Committee for Legal Education. She lectures for LEAD, the Legal Education and Development Division of the Law Society of South Africa. Her lecture topic of expertise is ‘Attorneys Bookkeeping’.

Zaahira Tiry as mediator and leader in dispute resolution is a member of the ADR Network South Africa Panel.

Zaahira obtained her Masters Qualification in law. The topic of her dissertation for this qualification is ‘Political Parties in South African Law’. She published a poetry book called, ‘The Greatness in You: The Masterpiece in Me’ to share with you her vision and message: “Who you are and who you inspire others to be, that is your most valuable contribution to our country.”

Email: zaahira@adr-networksa.co.za


#feesmustfall #outsourcingmustfall to #feesarefalling and #outsourcingisfalling

Outsourcing has fallen at UCT: why is this an important win for all of us?
At common law a contract does not have to be fair to be lawful. For a contract to be lawful there must be consensus (agreement), the parties must have capacity to act, the terms must be legally and physically possible to perform and any formalities imposed by law or by the parties themselves must be adhered to.
But fairness is not a requirement. The employment relationship at common law must meet the above requirements to be lawful. At common law, there is, similarly no requirement of fairness. But the employment relationship, has, by its nature, a strong element of control and has its origins in the master/servant relationship of our common law. This means that the relationship is vulnerable to imbalanced power relations. Our legislators have thus attempted to impose the requirement of fairness onto the relationship statutorily via various measures in the LRA including collective bargaining, Basic Conditions of employment and various Employment Equity Mechanisms.
The culture of outsourcing and labour broking is a way in which some of the mechanisms which were intended to impose fairness onto the employment relationship can be circumvented. So at a very basic level a buffer is created between what would otherwise be employers and employees. This distance allows for what would have been the employer to distance himself/herself/itself from who would have otherwise been the employee and be far less accountable. There are many complexities and implications that are experienced by a worker where this “middle man” or agency relationship exists. Some are:
1. The worker is enduringly a contract worker without proper expectation of permanent employ
2. Because of the buffer/ “middle man” or agency cost, the worker tends to end up with less pay than would be the case if there were no such buffer
3. Relationally the worker doesn’t have the same connection that is meant to be born in good faith, trust and loyalty that is meant to be nurtured within the employment relationship
4. It is much easier for what would have been the employers to harden their hearts and shut down contract workers than would be the case in a proper employment relationship
Does this mean that there are no upsides to outsourcing and labour broking? No. But in a deeply divided society such as ours and one that is so profoundly unequal, outsourcing and labourbroking serves to deepen the disparity that is hurting us all. A close examination of the Marikana massacre shows that labour broking or outsourcing played a significant compounding role in the unfolding events that lead to the tragedy.
The youth in our land are leading the charge in dismantling some of the aspects intrinsic to a system that can sustainably advantage the few at the expense of the many, if it remains largely unchallenged.
We need to understand that in the broader scheme of things, in the interests of a more just, and therefore potentially safer world for the next generation (that’s our kids), the current movements lead by our students are actually in the interests of us all.
In peace
Sheena St Clair Jonker
Per ADR Network SA and the Access to Justice Association of SA
sheena@adr-networksa.co.za private dispute resolution and ADR Training
sheena@accesstojustice.co.za access to justice for poor and disenfranchised communities



Date Venue Selection
9-13 November 2015 Durban/Constitution Hill (Joburg) /Cape Town
25-29 January 2016 Durban/Constitution Hill (Joburg) /Cape Town
22-26 February 2016 Durban/Constitution Hill (Joburg) /Cape Town
14-18 March 2016 Durban/Constitution Hill (Joburg) /Cape Town

For registration packs for 5 day programs or Distance Learning please email training@adr-networksa.co.za