Reflections on a Decade of South African Xenophobia and Violence


On 15 March 2017, the African Centre for Migration & Society and the School of Social Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand convened an informal round-table discussion about what the continuation of xenophobic violence – and reactions to it – say about South African society, politics, and the academy’s engagement in public and political debate. Commentators included Maxim Bolt (University of Birmingham); Alexandra Hiropoulos (University of the Witwatersrand); Achille Mbembe (University of the Witwatersrand); Emma Monama (University of the Witwatersrand); Dumisani Moyo and Shepherd Mpofu (University of Johannesburg); Tara Polzer-Ngwato (Social Surveys Africa) and Eric Worby (University of the Witwatersrand). To listen to the podcast click here.

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SA Research Chair answers questions about the 2016 elections

Professor Loren Landau is featured on four videos on the Wits University website

Professor Loren Landau, SA Research Chair in Mobility & the Politics of Difference at ACMS, is one of several #Wits Experts featured in YouTube videos in the #WitsVotes section of the university's website.

Each #WitsExpert has answered a number of questions in short one-minute videos in advance of the local government elections on 3 August 2016. These are the questions that Professor Landau answered:

Why are the 2016 Municipal Elections important?
Can domestic migration influence the elections?
What factors will influence voters in the elections?
Do voters trust their ward councillors?

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ACMS's Loren Landau is quoted in article by Africa Check on inflated migration figures

Africa Check publishes an article showing that the New York Times relied on a plagiarised journal article

In a very important article published this week by Africa Check, New York Times & others STILL wrong on number of immigrants in S.Africa, they report how they asked the New York Times for proof of the figure of 5 million foreigners in South Africa they used in an article on xenophobic violence in April this year; and what they found when they investigated the evidence the New York Times cited.

Professor Loren Landau is quoted on why inflated immigrant numbers have staying power. “The first is confirmation bias. As people we best remember ‘facts’ and incidents that confirm what we believe. The second has to do with an odd and somewhat ironic alignment of interests. As things now stand, officials, business associations, and even some migrant associations and service providers benefit from these inflated numbers. Whether it is to justify militarising the border, explaining joblessness, or protecting businesses' interests, the more we feel threatened, the better.”

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April 2015: ACMS media engagement regarding xenophobic violence

ACMS had extensive media mentions based on a series of media engagements during April 2015: please open this post to see links to them.

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ACMS research mentioned in Ground Up

21 April, 2015

South Africa: Xenophobia - Let's Avoid the Easy Answers

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