Sapa

FUNDING for the Restorative Justice Centre (RJC) was stopped because it breached the conditions of a service-level agreement, the social development department said yesterday.

“Funding was terminated following investigations by the department, which led to the conclusion that the trust between the two parties has been compromised,” spokesman Sello Mokoena said.

He could not confirm whether the centre in Pretoria was closing, as it had funding from other donors.

The centre promotes reconciliation between victims of crime and offenders by creating a platform for the parties to meet.

The department was of the view that the centre had also violated legal requirements outlined in the Public Finance Management Act and the Non-Profit Organisation Act. Funding was stopped on July 1.

Mokoena said details of the investigation could not be disclosed as the matter was still being discussed between the two parties.

The department was taking over the functions for which the centre received funding. An agreement had been reached with the head of the centre that all current files be handed over by the end of yesterday.

RJC director Mike Batley said: “We disagree with the decision to terminate funding and the process the department followed to arrive at that decision.”

Batley said his organisation would probably go to court to challenge the department. “That remains our option for now but we would only take such a step after we meet the department next week.”