There were about 70 000 South African-born people living in the United Kingdom in 1991. Most of those that came to Britain had not been targets of repression. Some left South Africa for family reasons or to further their careers, others moved with the intention of returning when the various crises were over. Among the migrants there was a small but politically significant group of political activists. Many of this group remained committed to working for change in the South African regime and continued to be adamant that one day they would return. Together with others who also had been obliged to leave, they saw themselves as exiles. Many described their stay in Britain as temporary — even after 30 years. Although, together, South Africans made up the fourteenth largest foreign national grouping in the country and were one of the most politically active groups, they were one of the least visible. An exploration of the reasons for this is long overdue.


African National Congress South African Government Symbolic Violence South African Community South African State 
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Copyright information

© Mark Israel 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Israel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawThe Flinders University of South AustraliaAustralia

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