FAQ's Public

Parties may mediate on their own or with the assistance of a lawyer of their choice. If a party uses a lawyer, he or she will have to pay the lawyer’s costs.

Accredited attorneys, advocates, traditional leaders, religious leaders, members of existing mediation forums and any fit and proper person who has undergone appropriate prescribed training.

All civil disputes, including family matters, claims for payment of money, claims arising from contracts, motor vehicle accident claims, claims for damages, claims involving all state organs, claims arising from customary law and tradition as well as claims relating to religious disputes, amongst others.

– Approach the Dispute Resolution Officer at the magistrates’ court closest to you;
– He or she will explain the mediation process and will assist you to complete a form which is easy to understand;
– The other party will be invited to a meeting with you on a particular date and time at which the parties will decide whether they wish to mediate the dispute.
– The Dispute Resolution Officer will confirm a date, time and place of mediation.
– The parties will choose a mediator from a list.
– Any of the official languages can be used at a mediation and where required the services of an interpreter are provided.
– The mediation agreement can be made an order of court by a magistrate;
– Should any party not comply with the agreement, the innocent party may apply to the court to enforce the agreement;
– This is a form of mediation that happens with the assistance of the court
– It is voluntary and both parties must agree to mediation
– The mediation is arranged by an officer of the court, named the Dispute Resolution Officer who communicates with the parties and facilitates the appointment of a mediator.
– Further steps in the court case will depend on the outcome of the mediation.

You need to comply with the National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators (NABFAM) Standards, which is:-

a) Provide proof of having met the following training requirements:

i) Training in an accredited mediation training course, with assessment and certification of his /her attendance and competence;
ii) Completion of NABFAM prescribed additional training;

b) Provide proof of having met the following practice requirements:

Participation in a minimum of at least 3 supervised mediation sessions; each session must be a minimum of 1 hour.

c) Be an accredited and paid up member with one or more member organisations of NABFAM.

d) In writing confirm that he/she:

i) Has not been convicted of any criminal offence against children and any othercriminal offence in the past 2 years;
ii) Subjects him/herself to the Code of Conduct and Ethics, the complaints and disciplinary procedures of the accredited NABFAM member organisation(s) with which he/she is affiliated.

With training providers that has been accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators (NABFAM).

Note that SAAM does not provide foundation mediation training.

A mediator is a professional who assists your husband and yourself in reaching resolutions with regards to disagreements, and following this assists in drawing up a settlement agreement. While in the process of mediation there is a level of confidentiality and transparency which applies to the three people (parties and mediator). Once the settlement agreement has been finalised, both parties can discuss with other relevant people. The settlement agreement is a reflection of your and your husbands thoughts, decisions and wishes. The mediator merely assists you in reaching a point of settlement.

The mediator will assist parties in reaching agreements and resolutions. The role of the mediator is not to impose decisions on the parties. As the mediator’s role is objective, the mediator does not view the parties as antagonists but rather as two people wishing to moderate an agreement under often challenging circumstances.  

What does SAAM Accreditation mean?

If a mediator is “SAAM Accredited”, it means that the Practitioner:

    • An Accredited Mediator is a Mediator whose competency in the practice of mediation has been accredited according to National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators (NABFAM) standards through a NABFAM member organization, such as SAAM.
    • Has undergone approved training as a mediator/arbitrator
    • Was independently assessed and found to be competent
    • Has agreed to practice under supervision (and disciplinary processes) of a SAAM Accredited Supervisor
    • Has agreed to abide by the SAAM Code of Conduct, and
    • Is subject to continued professional development requirements

Are all Mediators Accredited?

There is currently no regulatory requirement that mediators accredit themselves. This means that some people without the necessary qualifications hold themselves out to be mediators.

SAAM provides industry supported certification of qualification and good standing. This accreditation is voluntary, and provides peace of mind to the public that a SAAM accredited mediator meets the minimum industry standards for practice.