22nd April 2014
Clive Glaser, Department of History, University of the Witwatersrand.
Illegal entry was a central feature of the Madeiran immigrant experience in South Africa between the 1920s and 1970s. Unskilled Madeirans, who were generally not welcomed by the South African state, tapped into human smuggling networks to enter the country. It was a common practice to work illegally on farms or in shops owned by legally resident Madeirans. A large portion of these eventually secured work permits after having worked in the country for long periods. Not only were illegal immigrants generally destitute and illiterate, but they had to live under the radar to avoid arrest and deportation. In spite of their official status as ‘white’ and the many advantages this offered them, illegal Madeirans lived on, at best, the fringes of white society for several decades.
Prof Clive Glaser has lectured in the Wits History department since 1997. He has authored the following books: Bo-Tsotsi: The Youth Gangs of Soweto, 1935-1976, Heinemann, James Currey, David Philip (Social History of Africa Series), 2000; (co-written with Gail M. Gerhart), From Protest to Challenge: Volume Six: Challenge and Victory, 1980-1990, Indiana University Press/ Jacana, 2010; The African National Congress Youth League: A Jacana Pocket History, Jacana: Johannesburg, 2012. He has also written a number of articles dealing with youth culture and politics, crime, sexuality and, more recently, Portuguese immigrant culture in Johannesburg. He was the editor of the journal, African Studies, from 2001-2008 and remains an active member of the Wits History Workshop.
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