Afrophobia and the Law: How has the South African Judiciary Responded to Cases of Afrophobia?

As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled Afrophobia and the Law: How has the South African Judiciary Responded to Cases of Afrophobia? by Patrick Kadima (Oliver Schreiner school of Law, University of the Witwatersrand).

The rise in anti-immigrant sentiments in established democracies across the globe has undoubtedly produced very odd results. In the United States of America, the growing abhorrence of migrants led to the election of Donald trump whilst in Britain the increase in hatred of migrants has led to what we now know as Brexit and reinforced the gloomy idea that these two countries that hold democracy to heart are not cosmopolitan after all. The African Union adopted the Agenda 2063 in a bid to unite a continent that came from a painful past but this has not been an easy task. In 2008, 2015 and 2017 African migrants in South Africa experienced Afrophobic attacks that resulted in some being murdered, shops owned by African migrants being looted and burnt and many other criminal activities. South Africa is unquestionably one of the countries that has a high number of documented and non-undocumented African migrants. This seminar will first begin by seeking answers to the root cause of Afrophobia. This research will also briefly look into whether Afro-phobia is the right legal term rather than xenophobia. This paper has three objectives. The main objective that the study will seek to achieve is to analyse the jurisprudential culture that the courts have adopted as well as interpretations that the courts have used to arrive to a certain particular decision. The penultimate objective is to look at whether the various courts have recognised Afrophobia as a distinct social problem, If No what are the implications thereof of that non-recognition. The last objective of this research will be to critically analyse whether legal mechanisms such as court judgements or judgements from the South African Human Rights Commissions are sufficient to prevent Afrophobia. In essence, the last objective seeks to ask the simple question of whether the law is the answer to this type of social ill (Afro-phobia). In the end, this thesis does not aim to construct a set of doctrines. Instead, Patrick hopes it conveys a sense of the theory of Human rights law and constitutional law as a wide-ranging tradition that is dynamic, pluralist, and legally engaged.


Patrick Kadima holds a BA Degree from Stellenbosch University and he is currently pursuing his graduate LLB degree at the Oliver Schreiner school of Law (University of the Witwatersrand). Patrick’s interests are in Social Justice and Human rights, Insurance Law, Tax Law, Constitutional Law, International Trade Law and Public International Law. From time to time Patrick Opines for National Newspapers and has published articles in the City Press, Cape Times and The citizen.

Date: Tuesday 23 July 2019

Time: 12.45 -13.45

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus