Prof John Faris
John Faris is an attorney of the High Court of South Africa.
Prof. Faris has served in an advisory capacity as an ad hoc member of the ADR Sub-committee of the South African Rules Board for Courts. He was also appointed as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Court-Annexed Mediation in the Magistrate’s Courts.
He was a founder member of the Unisa Legal Aid Clinic and the Unisa Programme for Citizen Education in the Law and for many years served as chairperson of the related management committees.
Prof. Faris was also responsible for establishing the Unisa School for Practical Legal Education by Distance Learning.
BCOM in Entrepreneurship
Barry practices as an SA- & internationally accredited Family and Divorce Mediator with Alternative Divorce.
As co-founder of Mediation Academy, he is also an SA- & internationally accredited training facilitator. He holds a BCom in Entrepreneurship with UNISA, as well as qualifications in family law, ISO-process design, training and marketing.
In 2019, he co-engineered the Zero-Math Maintenance Calculator and made it freely available to practitioners and the SA public.
Barry is an ardent enthusiast of SME’s and believes that technology, coupled with innovation, can bring access to justice to all South Africans – and create new opportunities in the process.
BA / LLB / LLM
Susan Harris is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator. She has worked in the ADR field since 1994. She has been on the SAAM EXCO Committee from 1994 until 2015 and again from 2018 to date.
She is chairperson of the Accreditations panel. An alumni's of the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), she graduated cum laude with an LLM in 1994. She has lectured at the Practical Legal Training School and at the WITS Law School.
She has extensive experience mediating for the CCMA, the Bargaining Council for the Motor Industry and in private practice. She also does voluntary mediations for Family Life Centre (FAMSA) and pro bono work for Probono.org.
Prof Madelene de Jong
BLC (PRET) LLB (PRET) LLD (UNISA)
Dr Madelene (Leentjie) de Jong completed her BLC degree in 1984 and her LLB degree in 1986 at the University of Pretoria. She started her working career in Pretoria in 1987 as a candidate attorney at Couzyn, Hertzog & Horak Inc. After her admission as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa, she joined Du Plessis & Eksteen, where she practised as an attorney from 1989 to 1990.
She joined Unisa in 1991 as a lecturer in Family Law in the Department of Private Law. She was promoted to a senior lectureship in 1994, an associate professorship in 2004 and a full professorship in 2008. She retired from Unisa at the end of 2019 and is now a full-time mediator, parenting coordinator and divorce liquidator.
In 2003 she obtained her LLD degree from Unisa on the strength of a thesis entitled “Divorce mediation in South Africa – a comparative study”. She is the co-author of four books and has published many articles on family law and, more specifically, matrimonial property law upon divorce, maintenance matters, divorce or family mediation, family arbitration and parenting coordination in various legal journals.
In 2008 and 2013 she received the Hugo de Groot prize for the best short contribution to the Journal of Contemporary Roman Dutch Law and in 2018 she received the Hugo de Groot prize for the best article in this journal. Prof De Jong is a C1 NRF rated researcher. She has delivered papers at various national and international conferences, mainly on alternative family dispute resolution, matrimonial property law and maintenance matters. Dr de Jong is accredited as a divorce and family mediator and a parenting coordinator by SAAM.
She has been practising as a part-time family mediator since 2004. She is presently serving on the advisory committee of the South African Law Reform Commission’s Project 100D (Family Dispute Resolution: Care of and Contact with Children) and acting as project leader of the advisory committee of the South African Law Reform Commission’s Project 100B (Review of the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998).
She is also serving on the Board of Management of Child Welfare Tshwane.
Neil du Plessis
Niel du Plessis is an admitted attorney with right of appearance in the High Court of South Africa, practicing as a director in the name and style of Modiba Du Plessis Attorneys, a general practice situated in Pretoria.
Niel is further a passionate mediator and advocates the use of mediation in all disputes and/ or proceedings, accredited by SAAM in the fields of family and/ or divorce mediation and also civil mediation.
Niel is of the opinion that all family matters should be resolved by mediation in the interest of the children and considering the impact on the financial well-being of parties pre or post-divorce.
Further, Niel believes that the legal practice is developing to the benefit of all South Africans in addressing access to justice for all and expedited legal proceedings by facilitating mediation as a part or first stop for litigation in all matters.
Stella Coetzee CA(SA)
B COMPT HONS (ACCOUNTING) (UNISA)
B COMPT (ACCOUNTING) - UJ
B COM (INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY) – RAU
Stella practices as an NABFAM and SAAM accredited Family Law Divorce Mediator. Stella completed her B Com (Industrial Psychology) degree from Rand Afrikaans University in 1989. In 2007 she completed her B Compt (Accounting) degree at University of Johannesburg whilst working as a Finance Manager for a large corporate listed company.
She completed her honours in Accounting in 2010 from Unisa. She passed both SAICA Board exam 1 & 2 on first attempt during 2011. She is to date still a member of SAICA and is also registered as a Tax Practitioner.
Stella gained tremendous experience in Finance from 1997 until August 2019 when she left the corporate world to pursue her passion to help other people, and making a difference in other people’s lives. Children are very special to her, and hence she does volunteer work at an abandon baby house.
She continues to do Accounting and Taxation work on a part time basis and as a Financial Trustee for a Body Corporate. She has been the Treasurer for SAAM since March 2021.
Stella’s compassion with people in distress and her drive to make a difference has led her to choose being a full time Family Law mediator. She always considers “the best interest of the child” paramount to any decision made during mediation.
Her financial background adds great value to her Mediation clients as she specialises in maintenance disputes and division of assets and liabilities for divorce settlement agreements. She also focusses in her practice on the mediation of maintenance disputes between adult children and their parents.
Non-Executive Board Member
Governor Daliwonga Duma
Governor Daliwonga (Dali) Duma is currently employed by Northam Platinum Limited as an executive responsible for sustainability for the group and forms part of the executive committee. Previously served on different roles at Impala Platinum (Implats) as Internal Audit Manager,
Projects Director for socio-economic development initiatives, Group Sustainable Development Manager, and General Manager: Shared Services for Implats.
He also worked as the National Division Operations Manager at the Medical Research Council of South Africa. Graduated from Pretoria University in 2002 with an MBA. Completed BTech degree in Quantity Surveying from Tshwane University of Technology (Pretoria Technikon) and Diploma in Project Management from School of Project Management.
Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, water utilisation, and social capital are my key areas of performance giving direction on corporate governance, strategy, risk management, metrics, and targets.
Adv. Mabel Slabbert
Mabel Slabbert is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa (2004) and an internationally accredited Family and Commercial Mediator. (2009/2010) , The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London; 2021, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.)
Mabel holds a BA LLB and BA majoring in Philosophy from Rand Afrikaans University, as well as a Masters in Family Law (cum laude) from UNISA.
Mabel is a member of the Gauteng Society of Advocates, accredited member of the South African Association of Mediators and a trained Parenting Coordinator.
For over 15 years Mabel has worked in the realm of family law assisting with divorce settlements, estate conflicts and other such legal matters.
She has facilitated numerous mediations in the realms of marriage and family, as well as business matters. She has dealt with high-conflict and high-profile cases with great success.
Over and above her mediation accreditations, Mabel has completed Family Zone’s the Voice of the Child course, and is equipped to consider and communicate with children in the process of mediation.
Added to her legal and mediation expertise, Mabel is also a Human Behaviour Specialist, certified Demartini Method Facilitator, student of Tony Robbins and Public Speaker.
Her holistic approach to her clients, means that she takes into account all factors of their well being including health, finances, relationships and spirituality – an approach that has served her mediating and legal clients well.
BIURIS; DIP. LABOUR LAW; LLB
Magwayi Mabena career formally started in 1987, when he joined the Chamber of Mines Industrial Relations Department.
Among companies he worked for were Consol (Pty) Ltd; Merck Sharpe & Dohme (MSD) Pharmaceuticals; Ariel Technologies; Datatec (Pty) Ltd; South African Airways Technical (Pty) Ltd.
His work experience contributed to his decision to start Farisanani & Associates Labour Law Consultancy in 2001. He consults in areas, which also add value to him as an Employee Relations Practitioner. These are predominantly in Employee Relations; Strategic Leadership; Diversity & Change Management, Conflict Handling & Dispute Resolution; Collective Bargaining; Labour Law & Process Facilitation.
He was a Part-Time Commissioner at the CCMA when the body was established in 1995, a Panellist Member with the National Bargaining Council for the Chemical Industry, Road & Freight Bargaining Council.
Mabena is currently a Panellist at the General Public Services Sector Bargaining Council (GPSSBC), and at TOKISO.
He is a court annexed mediator with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Magwayi Mebena was part of a pilot project the Department implemented in 2017 - 2019, whereby mediation services were provided to parties in family law disputes. His company is a member of SA Mediation Association (SAAM).
He is an accredited assessor / moderator with the Safety & Security SETA and Public SETA and the Chairperson of the Department of Trade & Industry (“the dti”) Collective Bargaining Forum. He is also a Commissioner of Oaths. He has work published in the Codicillus, UNISA’s Law Journal (1988) and have facilitated workshops from in-house up to national level.
Daniël R Neumann
B.Sc. (Physiology and Genetics) and B.Sc. (Hons) (Physiology)
Daniël R Neumann is the founder and CEO of ECOTECHNIK Environmental Consultants (Pty) Ltd based in Pretoria, South Africa.
Daniël obtained a B.Sc. (Physiology and Genetics) and B.Sc. (Hons) (Physiology) in 1984 and 1985 at the UFS. Thereafter Daniël obtained a M.Sc. at the University of the Northwest (1992) and a B.Th. (Hons) at SATS in 2019. Daniël is currently completing his LLB degree through UNISA and will complete his Pupilship at the Pretoria BAR in 2023. Since 2012, Daniël has been serving on the Board of the Environmental Assessment Association of South Africa (EAPASA) appointed by the National Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF).
Daniël is the Chairperson of the Standards and Quality Board Committee implementing the SAQA registration of the approved Environmental Assessment Qualification. As Chairperson, Daniël promotes mediation in the environmental field as a prelitigation process.
Daniël is currently completing his mediation training through the Mediation Training Academy and for many years offered environmental mediation as an alternative to litigation.
Daniël is also a registered Pastoral Councillor (CPSC Category 6 Councillor) and offer mediation as part of the services in his counselling practise.
Daniël wish to contribute to establish mediation in the environmental field as an alternative to litigation. Furthermore, and as important, Daniël wants to help registered councillors to develop skills in mediation to assist families who are in need.
To promote and encourage the adoption and use of the procedure of mediation and ADR as a means of resolving disputes and to refer persons, families, companies, organizations or other entities to mediation if required;
To provide and/or support the education and training for those practicing or wishing to practice as mediators and ADR practitioners and promote the study and practice relating to mediation and ADR;
To determine standards of admission to the various grades of membership of the Association and to provide means for evaluating the qualification of candidates for admission to the appropriate grades of membership;
To promote and encourage the use of mediation services where required;
To provide a forum for the exchange of views and information on matters pertaining to mediation, ADR and related matters;
To print, publish and circulate among members of the Association and other interested persons, papers, books, periodicals, circulars and other literature dealing with mediation, ADR and related matters where required to do so;
To refer or nominate persons as mediators or ADR practitioners for the settlement of disputes;
To ensure standards of professional competence and conduct on the part of its members are maintained;
To liaise with and to present the collective views of its members to related bodies, public authorities and to other interested organizations and persons;
To consider, originate, support and procure improvements in the law relating to mediation and ADR and the general practice of mediation;
To watch over, promote and protect the interests of its members;
To promote the professional status of mediators and ADR practitioners;