South Africa – COI

Prof Rose Boswell


Rosabelle Boswell is an anthropologist, South African NRF Research Chair in Ocean Cultures and Heritage and a poet. She is author of several monographs on the southwest Indian Ocean Region, including: Le Malaise Creole: Ethnic Identity in Mauritius (Berghahn: Oxford). Prof Boswell has done field research in Mauritius since 1999. In 2010-11 she served as a Research Team leader for the Truth and Justice Commission investigating the legacies of slavery and racism in Mauritius. She has done field research in Madagascar, Zanzibar (Tanzania), Seychelles and South Africa for more than 20 years. Her latest outputs are a poetry book on climate change entitled: Between Worlds (2022) (RPCIG: Cameroon) and a co-edited book entitled: The Palgrave Handbook on Blue Heritage (2022).

Dr Martin Hall



Martin Hall​, Ph.D. Cambridge,​ is Emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. He was the inaugural Dean of Higher Education Development at UCT (1999-2002), Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town (2002-2008) and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford, Manchester (2009-2014).  He has contributed to a range of public service roles both in the United Kingdom and South Africa;  details are available at He has also received a range of awards including the Distinguished Teacher Award and a Life Fellowship from the University of Cape Town, a Principal Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy and an honorary doctorate from the University of Salford.  Hall returned to Cape Town in January 2015 and now works from there in Africa, the US and Europe.

Initially trained as an archaeologist researching colonialism, heritage and representations of the past, Hall expanded his work into education, social and economic transformation and digital futures.  His area of expertise includes: digital solutions and connected learning; the politics of contemporary culture; higher education policy, practice and strategy; and the archaeology of the colonial world. He is currently working with a range of organisations to open access to higher education for refugees caught in long-term camps.

​​He is prepared to consider serving as a Country of Origin expert witness for asylum seekers from South Africa.​

Dr Adam Ashforth


Adam Ashforth is Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. He is committed to seeking justice and safety for those seeking refuge from persecution and is eager to use more than four decades studying Africa to assist people from that continent.

Ashforth is a graduate of the Universities of Western Australia and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar (Australia-at-Large, 1979). Before Michigan, he taught at Northwestern University in the departments of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology. For nearly ten years prior to that he was in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, first as a Visiting Member and then in a specially created faculty position as a Visiting Associate Professor. He has also taught at the City University of NEW YORK and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Sciences Research Council, the Macarthur Foundation, and the H.F. Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the Institute for Advanced Study.

Ashforth is renowned for his work on witchcraft and spiritual insecurity in Africa, based on more than three decades’ fieldwork in Soweto, South Africa. For more than a decade he has also been researching issues regarding witchcraft, particularly in relation to the AIDS epidemic, in Malawi and Botswana. He has published four books and numerous articles in leading journals. His BOOK, Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa (published by the University of Chicago Press) was awarded the 2005 Herskovits Prize for the best book on Africa, the premier award in African Studies, and the Toyin Falola Award of 2006. His book Madumo, A Man Bewitched (University of Chicago Press, 2000) is a staple in university courses on Africa, anthropology, religion, and many other disciplines. His most recent book is The Trials of Mrs. K: Seeking Justice in a World of Witches (University of Chicago Press, 2018). Ashforth’s work on spiritual insecurity in Africa is influential in a wide variety of fields, including law, religion, and public health as well as in core disciplines of the social sciences. It has been widely cited in the literature on refugee rights and African asylum seekers.

Ashforth has submitted dozens of country expert reports for asylum seekers from Africa, specializing in cases where applicants fear persecution as accused “witches”, arguing that they deserve consideration as members of a particular social group. He has also provided reports on cases based on sexuality, mental health, gender-based violence, child abuse, and xenophobia, amongst other things.

Mrs Tara Polzer

Tel:+27 (0)1 17 17 40 31
Fax: +27 (0)8 65 53 41 35

Tara Polzer Ngwato has been conducting academic and policy research on migration and refugee issues in South Africa since 2002 as part of the African Centre for Migration and Society (formerly the Forced Migration Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand). She is also knowledgeable about issues of conflict and civic violence around the country, and is willing to discuss completing country reports for South African seeking asylum elsewhere.

Professor Pamela Scully

Email: pamela.scully@emory.eduScully profile photo

Pamela Scully is Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Professor of African Studies, at Emory University. She has her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on comparative women’s and gender history with an emphasis on slave emancipation, biography, and on sexual violence in wartime and in post-conflict societies. Her books include Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography, co-authored with Clifton Crais (Princeton, 2009, 2010) and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio University Press, Short History of Africa Series, 2016). Professor Scully is involved in various collaborations on Ebola including serving as an academic advisor to the film Survivors, about Ebola in Sierra Leone. She serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Women’s History and Social Dynamics, and is on the advisory board of The Journal of Southern African Studies. Professor Scully works closely with the Institute for Developing Nations, a partnership between Emory University and The Carter Center, which focuses on collaborative research regarding issues of poverty and development. She is a particular expert in issues related to gender and sexual violence in South Africa.

Dr Hazel Cameron

Dr Cameron has academic expertise in East African and Southern African administrative, political, economic and social issues, with a specific focus on Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa. She has over thirty years of experience providing expert witness testimony at criminal and civil courts of law in the UK and abroad, including the Torture Claims Appeal Board, Hong Kong. She is fully conversant with the duties and responsibilities of an expert witness to the court. The expert is a critical criminologist with a particular research interest  in state crime including genocide, crimes against humanity and other gross violations of human rights.  She is qualified to provide comments on issues that include Abortion| Asylum| Country Case Law| Crimes Against Humanity| Criminal Justice System| Document Authentication| Disability| Domestic Violence| Education| Election Violence| Employment| Ethnic Groups| Ethnic Violence| Food Security| Gender Based Violence| Genocide| Gross Violations of Human Rights| Health Care Availability| Health Insurance| Housing| Human Trafficking| Internal Relocation| Language| LGBTI| Mental Health Services| Organised Crime| Opposition Politics| Policing| Political Violence| Prison Conditions| Refugees| Risks on Return| Sexual Violence| Social Groups| State Security Forces| State Sponsored Violence| Sufficiency of Protection| Torture| Witchcraft| Witness Protection|

She is also available for document authentication, in-country document certification, in-country document retrieval, and other in-country enquiries on behalf of the court/tribunal.

Her research to date has received regional, national and international media attention. Multiple live television and radio interviews have been undertaken with Sky news; France 24; TVR; South Africa Broadcasting Corporation; Chinese television; Australian television; Euronews; Channel 4; British Forces Radio; Russian Television, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, and BBC Radio Scotland. Research has featured in newspaper articles around the globe, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Canada, Australia, France, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA.