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Why should I consider settling outside of court?

Imagine the distress you will feel if your daughter’s boyfriend, John, wrote of your lovely old BMW. To make matters worse, he is the son of your good friend, Peter. This all happened while you were still busy fixing that insurance problem – and now the loss is completely yours! Peter remains adamant that the accident was your daughter’s fault, as she asked John to drive after they “borrowed” your BMW, and she chose to have that third glass of wine (or was it the fourth?). But your opinion is that she did not ask him to get involved in a robot-to-robot race! You aren’t in the fortunate position to replace your prised old BMW out of pocket without it resulting in severe cash flow issues… so what now?

Mediation is the best alternative to get a fair settlement outside of court

When people have been wronged most feel that they should “get justice” through the courts. However, they may be in for more than they have bargained for. Once the legal process has been started, it may be hard to close off those taps of wasted Rands. Not to mention the relationships that may suffer irreputable damage in the process!

Luckily there is hope! If you have not heard about mediation, it is high time that you get to know it – you never know when you might need it!

The Mediator does not have the last say

In mediation parties come together to solve a matter under the guidance of a mediator. As people are so used to the idea of a judge making a decision and deciding who is right and who is wrong, they find it hard to imagine that a mediator will not make the decision. You may rightly ask – if the mediator does not make the decision why bother? Why would it then help to get him or her involved?

The Mediator remains unbiased

Experience has shown, despite the apparent toothlessness of a mediator, they are tremendously helpful to get even the trickiest disputes solved – most often in the timeframe of a single day. The main reason mediation has proven to be so successful, is that parties get a chance to work through matters without getting worked-up emotionally. The mediator remains unbiased and assists in effective communication between both parties involved.

If a matter of dispute is emotionally charged, the mediator may separate the parties and get each one to state their perspective on the matter. Thereafter, the mediator will function as a go-between to get the matter resolved in a way which suits both parties step-by-step.

The parties remain in complete control

The parties always remain in control – they do not bind themselves to any resolution, until it is satisfactory to both sides. Even if they cannot resolve the issue they can choose to go to the courts. Mediation does not preclude the option of withdrawal if it seems to be ineffective at the discretion of any of the parties.

Accredited mediators are well trained and bound by ethical rules

Mediators need to be very skilful to ensure that parties get the best chance to solve their disputes. To assist the parties to a dispute to obtain a skilful and trained person there are various panels available with accredited mediators. Such mediators have passed stringent mediation training, are bound by ethical rules to remain on panels and they must keep their skills up to date. Mediation panels will provide a list of accredited mediators to disputing parties, from which they can choose a mediator which both parties are comfortable with.


Mediation is an effective and affordable method to resolve conflict and to protect the relationship between the parties.

The following are the websites of a few of the panels that are available:


Conflict Dynamics

Training & Dispute Resolution Services

ADR Network SA

Leaders in Dispute Resolution

Mediation in Motion Mediators

Mediation in Motion Mediators is an innovative not for profit organisation that connects accredited mediators with their clients.