Du Plessis & Associates Inc
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+27 11 792-5513

koos@duplessis.co.za

Mediation is the process whereby a neutral third party, a Mediator, helps the parties to negotiate and agree on a solution to their dispute. The Mediator is facilitative and has no decision making powers. The parties agree when and where the mediation takes place and the matter can be resolved within weeks. 

 

In mediation, communication channels are opened/unblocked, which provides the opportunity for a mutually beneficial outcome to be achieved. Relationships between parties are preserved/sustained, which - in most instances - is crucial. The other advantages of mediation are:

  • Speed
  • Reduced cost
  • Direct addressing of needs
  • Personal control of the process
  • Confidentiality and privacy
  • Sustainment/Sustaining of relationships

 

What is a dispute ?

 

A conflict or controversy;  a conflict of claims or rights;  an assertion of a right, claim or demand on one side, met by contrary claims or allegations on the other.
noun: aggressive argument / discord
verb: be at cross purposes, negative, not agree

  1. To argue about; debate
  2. To question the truth or validity of; doubt

3.  To strive to win; contest for

4.  To strive against; resist

5.  To engage in discussion or argument; an angry altercation

 

Different processes used to resolve disputes in South Africa:

Litigation
Arbitration
Mediation

 

 

Process of Meditation

 

  • The parties decide to mediate a dispute
  • Parties appoint a Mediator
  • The mediator explains the process of mediation to each party separately /to both parties

A joint meeting is held and each party is afforded the opportunity to give a statement of their respective case

  • The parties are separated to enable the Mediator to discuss, explore and analyse the dispute
  • The Mediator facilitates the parties to generate options for negotiation and settlement
  • The Mediator facilitates the parties to bargain and choose options for settlement
  • The Parties agree on terms of settlement which are transferred to writing and signed by both parties

1.    Who should consider mediation?

Parties who wish to settle a matter expeditiously and “out of Court”.


2.    When is mediation most appropriate?

    When relationships are important

    When the parties have cost constraints

    When the parties have social or working relationships

    When a quick remedy is needed

    When strong emotional feelings are involved


3.    How long does mediation take?

Most cases can be settled in a few hours. Others may require more time, depending on the complexity of the issue.


4.    What are the costs of mediation?

The fee of the mediator varies from mediator to mediator depending on their experience and qualification. The parties can decide who would be liable for the costs but generally the costs are shared by the parties equally.


5.    What happens if the parties do not resolve the dispute after mediation?

At any time during or after the mediation process the parties can, should any one of them wish, proceed with litigation.


6.    Is the settlement enforceable?

The settlement should be reduced to writing and is as enforceable as any other contractual agreement. The settlement agreement can also be made an Order of the Court.


7.    Which cases are suitable for mediation?

Civil matters are mostly suitable. Criminal matters cannot be mediated in terms of the South African Laws.


8.    Difference between Arbitration and Mediation?

The biggest difference is that an arbitrator adjudicates the process whereas a mediator facilitates the parties to come to a mutually acceptable solution.


9.    Who is qualified to act as a mediator?

There are various institutions and courses that teach and qualify mediators. Follow the principles you would in the appointment of any professionals, i.e. training, experience and background.


10.  When should you start Mediation?

You can start the process any time, even during the process of litigation, but sooner is better than later.


Litigation is the process of bringing or contesting a legal action in a Court of Law. This process is regulated by the Magistrate and High Court Rules respectively. A party to such a process of litigation is represented by an Attorney and – on some occasions – an Advocate as well. The duration from inception to finalization may vary from one to several years, depending on various factors.
Arbitration is the process whereby an Arbitrator is appointed in a private judicial hearing. The parties in a dispute choose an Arbitrator or request the Arbitration Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) to appoint an Arbitrator. AFSA has drafted Rules for the Arbitration process. A party to this process can represent him/herself, appoint an Attorney and may sometimes appoint both an Attorney and an Advocate.

We specialize in the process of transferring ownership of immovable property from one person to another, called conveyancing. As conveyancers we possess specialized skills and knowledge relating to property law  that allows us to offer the best possible advice and service to our clients. We literally serve as the "production line" in preparing documents to eventually be registered by the "quality controllers" in the Deeds Office.
 

We further offer other specialized services provided by a notary public, such as the registration of ante nuptial contracts, servitudes and lease agreements.

Can anyone afford not to have estate planning in place? Estate planning is a process whereby a person during his own lifetime, and in relation to his estate, chooses in contemplation of his death, to take charge of the juridical, financial, economical, social and other needs of his family and beneficiaries. 

This involves making informed decisions regarding the disposal of his assets and liabilities and putting a plan in place to regulate how, when and by whom what should be done. 

It is a “multi-disciplinary” science that expects the estate planner to have a thorough knowledge of tax law, family law, law of succession, corporate law, trust law, law of persons and things, several statutes, short and long term insurance and various forms of investments.