I blog in peace.
Here is an update on some of the latest developments in the world of ADR and Access to Justice:
1. COURT ANNEXED MEDIATION
Please note that the date for sending back commentary on published accreditation standards and Standards and norms is 28 August 2014. If you have not seen the gazetted notice and would like it sent to you, please email email@example.com with “Copy of Gazette Notice” in the headerPlease note our Cape Town Five Day Program proceeds next week and on the Thursday we will cover court annexed mediation and developments to date. All panellists are welcome.Past trainees, as you know may attend all further workshops at cost of catering
2. DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMFor more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “distance learning subsidy” in the header
We have a limited amount of places on our distance learning program still available at a subsidized rate of R 3000. This is suitable for those who cannot take off 5 consecutive days. Contact time will be made up via webinars and attendance at half day seminars
3. ACCESS TO JUSTICE PROVINCIAL SUBSTRUCTURESThe Cape Town Provincial Substructure meeting will happen directly after next Thursday’s workshop
For an invite please send a mail to email@example.com with “ATJ Cape Town Provincial Substructure” in the header
4. ACCESS TO JUSTICE GOLF DAY
Also if you are keen to help us host a golf day in any other centre, please get in touch similarly
Please diarise 18 November in Durban for the first annual Access to Justice Golf Day. If you are interested in entering, sponsoring a fourball, prizes or a green or tee, it will be great exposure for legal services or ADR and ancillary services. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Golf Day” in the header
5. FIVE DAY PROGRAMS
Please NOTE: The Cape Town program runs next week. If you still wish to attend contact us urgently on email@example.com
Remember that past trainees just pay cost of catering (normally R 220 per day) and panellists attend Thursday (ie Court Annexed Mediation) at no charge
For Upcoming dates or a proposal on in-house training, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Five Day Training” in the header
6. JUSTICE NEWS
Our Online News Postal, Justice News is live! This is an aggregator bringing together the work of dynamic bloggers and writers that write around legal, social, political and economic justice and creation care. In time you will be able to buy advertising space. To link your blog, or website, please send an email to email@example.com with “Justice News” in the header. Also please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to query advertising opportunities. Use the header “Advertising”
If you wish to join the panel of ADR Network SA or as a service provider to Access to Justice, please email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org with “panel” and “service provider” in the respective headersPanellists enjoy ongoing attendance at training times and newtworking functions either at no charge or preferential rates
8. S v Sangweni ADR Dialogue
The ADR Diversion Dialogue in the matter of S V Sangweni proceeded this week. The mediation panel consisted of myself, Sheena Jonker, Brandon Abdinor, Hilton Green, Sipho Mdlala and for part of the time, Jay Gangat. The dialogue adjourned yesterday to enable us to complete an interim Mediation Summary for purposes of report back to court next week. Legal Counsel will ask for charges to be withdrawn and whether they are or not, the ADR Dialogue will continue as some significant issues have emerged during the storytelling process and as the week progressed individuals and those representing organizations such as the Department of Labour and Local ABM Warrooms became increasingly aware of the power of the process.
It was also amazing to see the value of the public narrative and how healing and powerful the story telling process is. This in itself mobilizes hope
9. Lwandle Ministerial Inquiry
We will be making further submissions on diversion to ADR Restorative Justice Process and will keep you updated
10. More Evictions
This week alone I was consulted on the threatened eviction of hundreds of families in KZN and this morning I have already been consulted on the demolution of 600 shacks as of an hour ago in Cape Town. I am waiting on further information and will be dealing with this further in Cape Town next week.
Thanks for your attention, support and continued interest in our work.
Please send your thoughts.
Over the past two days the presence of Cyril Ramaphosa at the Marikana Inquiry has held a significant presence in the news.
Advocate Dali Mpofu’s cross examination of him was frought with some tough themes, propositions, emotive adjective and idiom which Judge Farlam often called Mpofu on. I have watched, with interest varying views with many calling Mpofu to keep his anger in check and insinuating that there is some kind of personal-politico stand-off going on between opposing political agenda. Following are my views.
Mpofu at the outset told Ramaphosa his cross-questiong would comprise four broad themes:
- Action, or alternatively inaction where there was a duty to act
- State of mind or intention, etc
- Causality. He would explore the causal nexus between Ramaphosa’s action, or alternatively inaction and the consequences ie deaths and injury
- Outcomes, or consequences
Mpofu referred to a publication penned by Ramphosa in the wake of the Marikana tragedy and spent much time unpacking Ramaphosa’s sense of responsibility. There were concessions. However the concessions fell short of the strong personal responsibility that Mpofu was building a case for with Ramaphosa conceding “Collective Responsibility”
On state of mind and intention Mpofu explored Ramaphosa’s business interests, financial interest in the situation and what he referred to as a “web of relationships” which Rampahosa was caught up in that seem to be “incestuous”. He spent much time exploring conflict of interests. On this theme Ramaphosa attempted to raise an extra-aneous discussion around Mpofu’s impending status as silk. His raising of this in my view was a clear attempt at mischief making and it was conceded by himself that the discussions were initiated by him. With Judge Farlam’s own son on the list awaiting the president’s signauture, Judge Farlam ultimately diffused the situation well by affirming that everyone would be grateful if the Deputy President did what he could to promote the President’s action and due consideration of all on the list. This was done elegantly, graciously and light-heartedly. My view is that Ramaphosa’s attempts to humiliate Mpofu here achieved nothing except for possible reflection on capacity for dirty play.
But I wish to give a more personal account. I met Dali Mpofu on the Saturday before the start of the Marikana Inquiry. I was introduced to him by a mutual colleague on the issue of Alternative Dispute Resolution, something we have a mutual belief in. I didn’t know him, who he was, or any of his history at all. During the time I spent with him, I was struck by a brilliant legal mind and a deeply compassionate heart. We chatted about Marikana and I will never forget his words “Sheena, the public thinks this was a wage dispute. It’s so much more. It is a 300 year old story of systematic economic exploitation and exclusion. And we have a responsibility to ensure the story is told”
Later I met with Senior Counsel Dumisa Ntsebeza also on Alternative Dispute Resolution. We spoke about Access to Justice in the Marikana Matter and the danger that the powerful narrative of the miners would be muted or shut down.
Seeing Mpofu angry yesterday did nothing to compromize my respect for him. Sometimes anger is the right response. And for all his political alignment which may be at odds with the Deputy President, I can’t but see beyond the political stuff that may be at play and know that Mpofu is a deeply compassionate courageous lawyer and I honour his proceeding through this under very tough circumstances. Mpofu and Ntsebeza both relayed to me accounts of individual miners and families with an authenticity that I was unable to interpret as anything other than compassion.
Mpofu accused Ramphosa of selling out for 30 pieces of silver. Tragically, I don’t think the Idiom is misplaced. I work in alternative dispute resolution and access to justice. In exploring causality with Ramaphosa, Mpofu unpacked a chain of events and communique linking his action and sometimes inaction to the tragedy. Action in the form of exerting political pressure and the like and inaction in the form of his failure to assess, understand or promote negotiation. One of the most significant aspects of his action was his campaigning for the situation to cease being regarded as a labour dispute, and for it to be declared as criminal activity
In my work we deal with public violence and illegal gathering matters. Mpofu spelt out a very alarming tendency for the source of gathering and marching to be displaced and for gatherers and marchers to be viewed as criminals. The focus is completely taken off the originating cause which is often human rights violations or unfair labour practice, but in general, inhumanity. And if the powers that be can convince us that it is not what it is, but is actually criminal activity, then we will go on accepting police heavy- handedness which is accompanied by killing, injury and detention. The sum total is that the authentic voice of the people is brutalized, suppressed, maybe completely shut down.
I run two organizations. One in alternative dispute resolution (ADR and Mediation) and one in Access to Justice) Both remain apolitical. I remain apolitical. That’s important in what I do. I do what I can to bring light to dark places and to interrupt ensuing injustice. But it’s not enough. I do know though that the voice of the people will take on a life of its own. There is a growing collective no to this stuff and it’s in all of our interests, as a nation to get in the corner of those saying no to injustice.