South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has said that messages circulating on social media claiming that the government has ordered the immediate deportation of undocumented immigrants are false.

“Citizens and all other persons in the country are strongly advised to ignore this false alarm that is seemingly seeking to fuel tensions in the country, at a time when priority is given to economic development, creating jobs and fighting poverty and inequality,” the department said. “It is in the best interest of the country for government and citizens to do all in their power together to work for stability and peace, while combating illegal migration and other crimes through lawful means.”

Key Points: 

  • The Department of Home Affairs issued a statement Monday to debunk false messages circulating on social media and short message services.
  • The department said it would be “contrary to the laws of our country to instruct citizens, as purported in the malicious messages, to take the law into their hands, and to close companies down without due process.”
  • The statement added that the minister of Home Affairs would soon explain “in more detail the department’s approach on this important matter of immigration and asylum-seeker management.”

BAL Analysis: Companies and residents of South Africa should ignore social media messages claiming that mass deportations are imminent. BAL will continue to follow developments in South Africa, including any statements the minister of Home Affairs might make about how the agency is addressing issues concerning undocumented immigrants or asylum seekers. Companies with questions about the status of employees, or steps they need to take to make sure their employees retain proper status, should contact BAL.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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