Could mediation be a better route than court in the Sans Souci assault case?

The assault case involving a teacher and a Grade 9 pupil from Sans Souci Girls’ High has been postponed to April for further investigation.

Teacher Clarisa Venter and the 16-year-old learner made their first appearances in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Both parties have been on suspension from the school for the past two weeks after a video went viral showing an altercation between the two and Venter slapping the pupil.

Read: CT mom opens case of assault against Sans Souci teacher filmed slapping child

Some have called into question whether or not the criminal justice system is the best route to handle this matter.

Diversion or court-appointed meditation has been suggested as an alternative solution.

However, NPO Nicro explains that victim-offender mediation needs consent from both parties and must be sanctioned by the court.

Also read: Chamber of Legal Students to represent Sans Souci pupil in slapping case

The organisation has experience in such interventions and specialises in social crime prevention and offender reintegration.

Nicro's Tarryn Johannes says that, unlike court, meditation is not a punitive and is based on a restorative justice approach.

Johannes adds that diversion or court-appointed meditation can only be considered based on the legal merits of an individual court case.

I believe that one needs to look at each case with its own merits and then determine what is going to be the best route.

Tarryn Johannes, Supervisor - Nicro

In the Western Cape, we get a lot of referrals through the court system for crimes to be diverted instead of going through the criminal justice system.

Tarryn Johannes, Supervisor - Nicro

Listen to the update on The John Maytham Show:


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