MEDIATORS DILEMMA: MEDIATION IN SOUTH AFRICA AN UNEQUAL TRANSITIONAL SOCIETY

This reflexive piece examines the complexity of mediation, conflict resolution/peacebuilding in contexts of growing, nested inequality. It observes that ‘[n]eutrality translates into support for the status quo. And that it is ‘not good enough to deal efficiently with manifest conflict while leaving structural conflicts outside of our frame and therefore intact’.

Click here to read more

SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINOLOGY IN DENIAL

This paper responds to key aspects of Bill Dixon’s article ‘Understanding ‘Pointy Face’, what is criminology for? It suggests that criminology should unambiguously be ‘for’ social justice in South Africa’s transhistorically unequal context. SA prison statistics are used as a conceptual shortcut to briefly highlight racialised constructions of crime, the criminal and the criminologist. A trans-disciplinary conceptual approach, as a more appropriate way to understand violent crime in South Africa, is argued for from a black standpoint. A methodological framework, which draws on the notion of cultural-structural-direct violence and intersectional theory, is presented. These extend Bill Dixon’s call for criminology to include history, structure, human psyche and biography and resonate with Biko Agozino’s call for a ‘counter-colonial criminology. The paper ends by returning the Eurocentric gaze of SA criminologists, calling them out on their collective denial about trans-historical violence which implicates ‘Pale Face’ in the violence of ‘Pointy Face’

Click here to read more

A TURN TO SOCIAL JUSTICE CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN UNEQUAL CONTEXTS

Structurally responsive strategies, tactics and techniques for conflict resolution practitioners to consider

Draft Presentation on Social Justice Conflict Resolution practice. This is based on an interlinked gap found in practice that explains why practitioners are not structurally responsive. It is part of an ongoing action research process in South Africa’s unequal, transitional context.  

Click here to read more

WHERE TRUTH, LIES AND PRIVILEGE MEET POVERTY… WHAT IS HOPE?

Reflecting on the gains and pains of South Africa’s TRC A dialogue between Sarah Malotane Henkeman and Undine Whande

Global Africa: Into the Twenty-First Century By Dorothy Hodgson, Judith Byfield, 2017

The conversation about ‘truth’ and ‘reconciliation’ you read here started about nineteen years ago, in a backroom at the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) and at U Managing Conflict (UMAC) in South Africa. This was a time when the two dialogue partners were mostly swimming along the tide of euphoria and enthusiasm that swept the country after the free and fair elections of 1994. Two peacebuilders who had witnessed and engaged the TRC close-up: Sarah was then full-time employee/part-time student, descendant of a mix of colonised, enslaved and oppressed people; oppressed during her own lifespan until 1994 when she was in her thirties, married and had two young children. Undine was a 23-year old white youngster who had engaged in the German anti-apartheid movement and arrived bright-eyed and bushytailed from abroad to ‘see’ and take part in the ‘miracle’. Both felt privileged to be part of building a new era. The conversation invites the reader into the journey they travelled, within and alongside the TRC’s process over nearly two decades, and shares some of today’s (2016) concerns and potentials for truth, justice and peace in South Africa

Published chapter can be found here.