New Social Forums Icon-10.png

Social Forum

Day 3 - 21 March 2022 

Refugees and Migration (Physical event)

Xenophobia -The Human Cost of Xenophobia in South Africa: exploring the intersections between Victimhood, Solidarity & Policy.
Time: 10h00

This session spotlights the voices and experiences of migrants, refugees, and stateless persons in South Africa.  Bringing experts to the table to discuss the fight against xenophobia through aspirations, challenges, shortfalls and the way forward. The conversation will also delve into an analysis of existing policy, its strengths, weaknesses, implementation, its trajectory, and its ideal composition.


The human cost of xenophobia in SA:

Spotlighting the voices and experiences of migrants, refugees, and stateless persons.

Navigating Solidarity in Action:

Unpacking the fight against xenophobia through reflection on aspirations, progress, challenges, shortfalls, and the way forward.

Policy in Review:

An analysis of existing policy, its strengths, its weaknesses, its implementation, its trajectory, and its ideal composition.




Emmanual Bukweya, 

Jacques Bona

Ali Kipundu (TBC)

Wayne Ncube – Director at Lawyers for Human Rights

Siya Khumalo – News24 Journalist

Ferron Pedro – Organiser at Koponang Africa Against Xenophobia


Live Stream Program – Watch it on (FB)


The Big Debate

Amplifying anti-racist voices
Time: 11h30

The struggle against racism is not a one-time event. Although apartheid has been abolished in a formal sense, its legacy remains a defining feature of the South African experience. The inequalities we see today – from infant mortality, life expectancy, digital connectivity, and spatial inequality — are deeply anchored in South Africa’s past and have not been fully undone by its democratic transition.

 A critical step to addressing the challenges faced is the adoption of anti-racist attitudes. Unlike non-racialism or “colour-blindness”, anti-racism requires us to actively dismantle racism wherever we find it - be it our law, our institutions, or even our personal social interactions. This way, anti-racism envisages a whole-of-society transformation that targets racism’s broader, institutional manifestations, as well as its granular expressions on the individual level.

Panelists:  Hosted by - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, together with members of academia, civil society, government and the public at large.




Danaline Franzman is a Chief Director in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJCD). She focuses on all things related to social justice and participatory democracy.  She also supports the Department’s work on the National Action Plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance



In 2019, David Kabwa was elected the first-ever African Prime Minister of the Commonwealth Youth Parliament. He also served as President of the University of Pretoria’s Student Representative Council. These days, he is the Youth Representative for the African Union’s Youth for Transitional Justice and Country Ambassador for South Africa for the UNITE2030 Initiative.



Lukhona Mnguni lectures political sciences and international relations at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.  He is also one of South Africa’s foremost political analysts. When he isn’t giving cutting edge perspectives on radio and television, he’s spearheading initiatives with civil society on contemporary political issues of the day.



A Fulbright alumnus and talented researcher, Melissa Steyn is the SARChI Chair, in Critical Diversity Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. These accolades aside, she is perhaps best known for her 2002 monograph

“Whiteness just isn’t what is used to be: White identity in a changing South Africa”.



Neeshan Balton is the Executive Director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. He is a skilled civil society campaigner, with a long track record speaking out against racism in South African politics.



Philile Ntuli is a Commissioner  at the South African Human Rights Commission.  She has a particular interest in exploring how/whether South Africa’s project of democratisation can disrupt historical gendered hierarchies.  She has also been involved in the Commission’s work on the July 2021 unrest which saw more than 300 people lose their lives



Ntokozo Mazibuko is a seasoned broadcaster – with stints at some of the country’s largest media houses under her belt. She’s known for producing quality stories that strike at the heart of South African politics. 

Gender-Based Violence

An Inclusive perspective to grave injustice and violation of human rights.
Time: 12h30

Gender-Based Violence remains a serious problem and threat to human rights in South Africa. While it is important to seek immediate solutions, a holistic approach encompassing all communities impacted by this scourge may be beneficial.


CALS: The gendered lens of victimization in activist spaces




Busisiwe is a social justice activist, an attorney and research coordinator at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. She is also a former Constitutional Court clerk. Busisiwe holds an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently completing her LLM in Human Rights Law at Wits University. Her areas of interest are gender and the law, corporate accountability as well as the intersectionality between race and gender in poverty and the law. Busisiwe works extensively in researching and advocating for the protection of activists in South Africa.



Is the Founder and Executive Director of GBV Monitor South Africa, an NPO focusing on research and a systemic evaluation of the rural criminal justice system. The organisation's GBV Tracker reports on GBV incidents across the country. Partners such as the National Prosecution Authority has supported the organisation's data collection efforts.

She has served the country in her capacity as a political communicator and media practitioner at Cape Town Globalist, Host Broadcast Services, eNews Channel Africa (eNCA), Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, and Talk Radio 702. She has published her opinion and appeared on various media platforms such as City Press, Sowetan, Al-Jazeera (Doha, UAE), Women's Media Center (New York, USA) BBC and Sky News (both London, UK).



Former Miss South Africa 2019, Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier has moved from the world of pageantry to the world of advocacy. The 28-year-old who represented South Africa at Miss World in London at the end of 2019 is now devoting her time to advocating for the protection of children and the importance of eradicating the crisis that is gender-based violence, a subject that prompted the creation of her #itsnotyourfault campaign.

She made a big impact on the debating circuit in the UK during the Miss World Pageant. One of just six delegates chosen to participate in the prestigious Oxford Union speaking forum, she was tasked with helping find global solutions to the growing economic crisis.



Founder of the Thami Dish Foundation, Brand South Africa Play Your Part Ambassador

How to Become an Activist
Time: 14h30

How to become an activist? Why? Not everyone finds it easy to join a civil society organization or campaign, so how do ordinary people who want to be active citizens put their energy and actions towards mobilising for human rights and social justice in their communities? 


On Monday 21st March, at 14:30 pm as part of the Human Rights Festival being organised at Constitution Hill (read more about it here), Maverick Citizen is hosting an interactive Social Forum to discuss social justice activism. 


In addition to people physically present it will also be live streamed to a wide audience. 


After discussions that will take place on rights to health and basic education, about xenophobia and the climate crisis, we aim to create a space where people can talk about how why activism is necessary and how we can all become activists; and what are the things and fears that hold people back from joining the struggle ... 


Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood and columnist Zuki Pikoli will facilitate an intergenerational and intersectional discussion with new and ‘old’ activists debating how community members can do their part towards achieving the South Africa and the world we want to live in.