Back to RJ Archive

Beyond restorative justice – Zwelethemba, a future-focused model using local capacity conflict resolution

Shearing, Clifford
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) InRobert Mackay, Marko Bosnjak, John Deklerck, Christa Pelikan, Bas van Stokkom and Martin WRite, ed., Images of Restorative Justice Theory. Frankfurt, Germany: Verlag fur Polizeiwissenschaft. Pp. 16-34.

“The African ‘Zwelethemba’ model is, in fact, a stunning example of the way practice is informing theory and theoretical considerations impinge on practice. The provocative thing about it is its future-orientation as it is practised and enacted by the work of the Peace Committees, set up in poor and disadvantaged communities of South Africa. There we find a project that combines peacemaking with ‘doing justice’ the restorative way – within the boundaries of the constitution, but leaving aside the criminal law’s concern with the past, with establishing guilt and accordingly meting out punishment. Instead, negotiating arrangements and obligations that would make for a better future, that is: a better way of living together in the community conveys to those concerned a sense of justice done. This is not least due to the conscientious policy of making use of local knowledge and local capacity as happens in the Zwelethemba model. Froestad and Shearing present it as a way to ‘situate local security governance within a strategic and normative framework that keeps these practices within limits and tuned towards core restorative values”. (editor’s abstract)


AbstractAfricaCourtsIndigenous JusticePoliceRJ in Schools
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now