General Crime


These are cases such as petty theft, murder, robbery, kidnapping, destruction of property, common assault, child stealing and defamation. Coordinators advise clients on their legal rights, and call the parties involved for mediation if they choose it. If not, or if mediation fails, staff help clients to report the matter to police and go through the court process.

“Since visiting the Centre my life has changed so much, and the lives of those I reported at the Centre have changed because now they know what is wrong and what is right.”

                         - Client, 2007 Impact Study

There were 95 reports of general crime in 2011, making up 2% of all cases.

Sibongile Masondo, May-June 2008:

Biological Father’s Abduction of Child

A 22 year old woman came to the office to report that the father of her child had abducted their 5 year old son. My client lives at Msinga and the father lives in Osizweni. My client was going to Volksrust with her son and when her taxi stopped for a toilet break, the father, who was following the taxi in a car, abducted her son.

My client asked the taxi driver to accompany her to the police to report the case but the taxi driver refused and said there was no need because her son was taken by his father and no one had noticed the registration number of the father’s car. My client wanted her son back.

I arranged mediation and the parties came. I asked the father of the child to give my client her son. I told him that what he did was unacceptable and if he refused a case would be opened.
The father agreed to give the child back to the mother and I advised the client to allow the child to visit his father. The problem was resolved even though the father was very angry about the outcome. The child was then taken by his mother and I advised my client’s ex-boyfriend not to do it again because he would face charges of child abduction.

Theresa Thusi, May 2008:

Case of Assault Settled by Mediation Paying Sonto Nene

A 40 year old married woman was referred to the centre by the police after she wanted to lay a charge of common assault against her neighbour whom she said assaulted her minor son, who is an epileptic.

A mediation process was organised and both parties attended. Each agreed that the defendant will pay compensation (law of delict) of R400 to the victim. The defendant asked to pay in two instalments over a period of two months.

The first payment was made on 25.05.2008 to the amount of R200. Through mediation the matter was settled immediately to the satisfaction of both parties and without cost to the state.*

* The coordinator is not undermining the function of the courts. The backlog of cases at the courts is considerable and if the case had gone to court it could have taken 3 years or more to come to trial.

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