Upcoming Lunch Time Seminar

White but Illegal: Undocumented Madeiran Immigration to South Africa, 1920s-1970s

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.

 Biographical note

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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UPCOMING SEMINAR - Psychosocial Practice, Peacebuilding and Social Change

Psychosocial Practice, Peacebuilding and Social Change

30th of April 2014

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

The terms ‘psychosocial interventions’ and ‘peacebuilding’ are often used as umbrella phrases. A primary goal of ‘psychosocial interventions’ is to improve wellbeing of individuals and families, while ‘peacebuilding’ tends to focus on communal and institutional processes. Psychosocial practitioners often do not see their work as directly related to social change, while those involved in peacebuilding initiatives can have a limiting focus on individual wellbeing. This event will look at the synergies between psychosocial work, social change and communal recovery, within the context of collective violence. Specifically, the event will showcase the findings from a project entitled ‘Trauma, Development and Peacebuilding: Towards an Integrated Psychosocial Approach’. This project was undertaken by the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) at the University of Ulster, with multidisciplinary researchers with expertise in violent conflict from around the globe. Articles from the project have been recently published in Intervention, the Journal of Mental health & Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas. The authors who have contributed to this Special Section will present their work and address the complex question of how to link psychosocial interventions to peacebuilding and social change.


  • Professor Brandon Hamber, Director of INCORE at University of Ulster and Visiting Professor ACMS: Narrowing the gap between psychosocial practice, peacebuilding and wider social change
  • Dr Elizabeth Gallagher, University of Ulster: Psychosocial programming, and macro peacebuilding strategies with young men in Northern Ireland
  • Dr Alison Crosby, Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, York University: Creativity as an intervention strategy with Mayan women in Guatemala
  • Dr Ingrid Palmary, Associate Professor, ACMS: Remembering, healing and telling: community initiated approaches to trauma care in South Africa.

Seminar held at South West Engineering Seminar Room, Wits University

9:30am to 4pm including lunch. RSVP to

We would like to thank the International Development Research Centre for their support of the research that underpins several of the articles in Intervention, as well as Medico International for their specific support for this event.


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Comparative Perspectives on Reforming Regional Migrant Labour Regimes

On 19 March 2014 the African Centre for Migration and Society, the South African core partner of the DFID-funded Migrating out of Poverty consortium, hosted a panel discussion on Comparative Perspectives of Reforming Regional Migrant Labour Regimes. Click here to view the full story.

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Loren Landau on Huffpost Live Hosted by Mike Sacks: Violence in South Africa

February 20, 2013

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Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon opinion piece in the Mail and Guardian

Migration is a tale that knows no bounds

23 August 2013

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Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon opinion piece in the Mail and Guardian

J’oburg hills are alive with visions

13 September 2013

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Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon opinion piece in The ConMag

Black Bees swarm around treason trial venue

December 15, 2013

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ACMS (2010) May 2008 Violence Against Foreign Nationals in South Africa: Understanding Causes and Evaluating Responses. CoRMSA and ACMS Report April 2010, Wits: Johannesburg.

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ACMS (2011) Deportation and Public Health: Concerns around the ending of the Zimbabwean Documentation Process Issue Brief 9 ACMS, Wits: Johannesburg

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ACMS (2011) Towards improving forced migrant access to health and psychosocial rights in urban South Africa – a focus on Johannesburg  Issue Brief 8 ACMS, Wits: Johannesburg

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