is an Nguni word describing an African philosophy of life and a guide for
social conduct. It looks at the universe as a composite whole, an
organic entity. It stresses group solidarity over individualism.
Individual rights, needs, entitlements and demands are subordinated to the
needs of the community. Communal contentment is the absolute measure
Ubuntu utilizes a conciliatory not adversarial dispute resolution process.
It focuses on understanding, not vengeance; it seeks reparations not
retaliation, and strives for community healing not victimization. It
holds the community responsible for creating the context in which crimes
and aberrations take place.
The new South African Constitution gives constitutional status to African
customary law by giving Ubuntu legal significance.