Posted by: minki | 2011-04-15

mediators with shit attitude

i would not recommend mediation to anybody in future we started off with the first idiot in Rivonia who sat there with attitude and made comments about not killing the golden goose that lays the golden eggs referrin to my husband who ws paying for the sessions so hence he had attitude with me! I was shouted at by this man but never my husband i wonder why!!! He would now and then pretend to be so interested in me and ask me what i intended doing in the future this was a discussion outside the mediation and when i told him of my plans to buy a small franchise his response was so cynical and derogatory!!! He made us sit there and fight each other while he watched, he had no financial clue what was going on financially or did not bother to help because every hour cost us money to him!!!! He is not a counsellor or a financial advisor or an attorney but he is a mediator!!!! How on earth can that ever be the better option! U sit there and expect people not to get emotional when the emotions were never dealt with but u call yourself a mediator! South Africa is quick to copy cat overseas but hell we have a long way to go ito mediation done properly and fairly! There is ALWAYS bias to the party paying the mediator and they mediators dont take the women seriously, they speak to each party differently in a diff tone and that simple thing in itself says its a disaster process!!!! So many money makers out there. I feel like putting that idiots name here so nodbody goes to him, and he was referred to me by SADSA how sad is that!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Dear Minki,

I am devastated by your experience. Kindly inbox me at so that appropriate action can be taken.
You are very right to say that South Africa has a long way to go in terms of mediation practice but this still does not account for a lack of professionalism! It is a better option when dealt with accordingly and appropriately.
I am sorry your experience was such a negative one and hope we can use your experience to improve on the future of mediation in South Africa.

Thank you for your feedback.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: SADSA | 2011-04-17

Thank you FIO for your contribution.
You are very right to point out that personalities differ and we all need to find the person we will feel comfortable with. However, since a mediator will be assisting two opposing parties, the impartiality of the mediator is of utmost importance. As far as the outcome of the mediation process I like to think of it as a win-win result where there are no loosers. My favourite analogy is that of the 2 parties fighting over a lemon. Attorneys will focus on the problem and the fight between the parties until eventually the lemon gets given to one of the parties. The one who lost the lemon will feel cheated and ever so more angry. The one who gets away with the lemon will have a feeling of victory being a short term gain at the expense of a large, long term loss.
With mediation, the mediator will focus on a solution while exploring all data available. It is then discovered that one party wants the juice and the other the rind. Once this established the distribution is possible equitably, amicably and all the parties concerned are able to leave with a feeling of satisfaction, regained trust and an opportunity for healing. There is ALWAYS a way. After all isn''t this what we teach our children when they resist sharing something? What role models are we when we chose to litigate our parenting rights and responsibilities?


Reply to SADSA
Posted by: FIO | 2011-04-16

Mediatoprs are supposed to know the laws surrounding divorce, children, maintenance, division of assets etc. This is supposed to help them develop settlement agreements whihc usually get passed on to an attorney who ok''s it in terms correct legal format, and the lawyer will also ensure the decision smade do no violate any piece of legislation.

The primary aim of mediation is to reduce conflict to a level where the parties have at least a common understanding of the whole problem, and commit to resolving it in everyones interests.

In litigation there is a winner and a loser, and a lot of money, stress, tension etc spent by both sides. The winner gets the whole cake, or most of it.

In mediation no party is an outright winner, and no party takes home more cake than any other. So, you dont get the whole cake, but you also dont lose the whole cake, and by understanding this philiosophy the major part of conflict is reduced because each party realises there will not be a winner or a loser, so the pressure to fight is off. And parties should then start working together tp share the cake, each taking and giving different parts until both parties are satisfied with the deal.

The deal then gets drafted in a document, given to a lawyer to check its accuracy, and then the document may be made an order of the court. Thats it in a nutshell. Some mediators are very well versed in the law, so they can do parenting plans etc that are consistent with legislation. Others are not, and their focus is on reducing conflict so that the parties can then begin to work together on a scale of balanced power, equal opportunity etc, and end up with an informal agreement in principle of how to settle the initial dispute. Then comes in the lawyer who tweaks it with laws and regulations.

What should a mediator have? Well, this is being heavily debated at the moment as some people want the fields of mediators limited, others want the fields expanded. If too limited, mediators are pointless. If too expanded mediators will be few and far between as they try catch up with the required training and expertise. In the USA it works well, they have had 20years of it. We are literally in our 2nd year of true mediation, and we need to determine the standards for the industry, and then implement. It will take time, but each time we find aplce where it falls, we also find an opportunty and reason to improve.

Many of us in mediation now have been victims of a system that somehow failed due primarily to lack of expertise. OUr country has an incredible Constitution, an incredible CHildrens Act, and more changes are coming to the Divorce Act. What needs to happen now is the people applying all this stuff need to be trained to the right standards, which sadly does take time, and sadly does result in many people falling victim to a not yet perfect system.

Please do not give up ion the concept of mediation, one bad experience should not tarnish every potential experience. There are a lot of good mediators out there, a lot. And I do need to say this, not every couple works with every mediator.Just like people move around looking for the dentists that work for them, so it is with mediators, People even do it with lawyers, move until they find the one they feelthey can trust and work with. No-one can please everyone all the time.

Your experience may have been the result of a clash of personalities, which could have comromised the mediation process. While mediators are supposed to be professional, they are also human, and they have to continually try balance the power control between conflicting couples. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they dont.

So dont give up, keep networking and chatting as you are, and somewhere the right mediator who suits you will be found.

Reply to FIO
Posted by: minki | 2011-04-16

Unfortunately i could not pay for my share of mediation due to being unemployed, however that should still not be a reason for bias. I am glad that it will be regulated because even the fees charged by different mediators are very different... A mediator should have counselling and financial experience and possibly also be an attorney. A Diploma in Conflict Management is just not going to cut it!!! I willl go to the website and respond accordingly.


Reply to minki
Posted by: FIO | 2011-04-15

I am a member of SAAM (South African Association of Mediators) and I am part of the Institue of Family Mediators. We are in the process of setting standards for accreditation for mediators through an establishment called NABFAM (National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators). Our biggest problem is that many people claim to be mediators when they have limited tyraining or experience, and the Regulations with regards to the Chidlren''s Act allow these people to mediate when they are in fact not properly trained or professional.

We are trying hard to change the Regulations and legislation so that only people trained and registered through a NABFAM accredited organisation can practice, then at least the industry can be relatively assured that the meditors are properly trained and qualified with the correct level of professionalism.

Please can you furnish further information so that our cause for a more professional mediation system can be fought for, and hopefully result in legislation being changed.

I am sorry for your experience, its truly not the way it should be.

You can visit our website, w... ifmediatorsdotcoza and email me, or you can contact SAAM by looking up their website and lodging a complaint. The person may actually not even be a registered mediator, which in itself would help us push for a more professional system. If the person is registered then it is possible to follow up.

I should also let you kow that mediation costs should be shared by both parties, and under no circumstances should a mediator ever choose sides, make judgements, offer advice, or make recommendations. The role of a mediator is to assist parties reach agreement through the provision of information and guidance in accordance with the law.

As I said, I am sorry for your experience, but please assist us in cleaning up and professionalising the industry. Mediation is still a brillliant tool when being operated by a properly trained professional person.

Reply to FIO

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