Globalist magazine's focus on refugees starkly prescient

23 May 2008 | Story by Helen Théron

editorial team
Globalists: The editorial team of the fourth edition of The Cape Town Globalist (from left): Melanie Smuts (chair), Murray Hunter (editor-in-chief), Duncan Scott (features editor) and Bernhard Schlenther (research editor).

Printed over two weeks ago, the cover and main features of the fourth edition of The Cape Town Globalist, UCT's undergraduate international affairs magazine, are starkly prescient.

The cover title, Strangers in a Strange Land, outlines the plight of refugees in South Africa, magnified by xenophobic attacks in Alexandra and now Du Noon in Cape Town.

"It's a burning issue," said editor-in-chief, honours student in media theory, Murray Hunter. "We went to print before we had any idea of the sorts of tragedies happening in Alexandra. Had we known we'd have done things differently."

The student-run publication is a member of Global21, a network of student-run international affair publications at premier universities around the world.

"We focus on global issues and how these intersect with campus issues," Hunter added.

The plight of Zimbabwean refugees (UCT has a significant number of Zimbabwean students and staff) is brought home in Voices for the Voiceless. It documents the work of Braam Hanekom, head of Passop, an activist group for refugees, and owner of the Coffee Bean in Rondebosch.

A stirring debate on whether Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama would be good for Africa was a striking prelude to the launch as tension gathered among immigrants and refugees in the city's townships.

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