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Mediator resolves fight speedily

Written by Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Elizabeth Saunders, 34, opened a case of harassment and sought a protection order against her aunt Irene van Niekerk, 52, at the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court.

They were both involved in a noble cause in their community in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, by distributing food parcels to the needy and giving them clothing from their sponsors.

Things turned sour between them when rumours started that Elizabeth was selling some of the food parcels and clothing for personal gain. The remaining ones, she would allegedly give to some selected few youngsters and not to the community that was meant to benefit from it.

This rumour made Saunders very angry and she confronted Van Niekerk about them, resulting in a big fight between the two.

Following the fight, the two women stopped working together, and this affected the needy people they were helping in their community.

When they met with Mediator Terry Mphelo, they each presented their side of the story and she helped them to come to an agreement.

They first apologised to each other and reached an agreement within a few hours of the sitting.

The agreement was that they would continue working together to help the needy and that Saunders would keep all the records of the received goods and also records of when it was distributed and who received the goods.

Since their initial confrontation was mainly because of the rumours, they reached an agreement that they would no longer listen to the rumours and that they would work together closely instead.

Van Niekerk was very happy with the agreement.

“This is the best way to solve disputes because now my niece and I have resolved our issues speedily without having to go to court,” she said.