South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has dismissed reports that it has ordered the immediate deportation of undocumented migrants in the country.

The message, which has been circulating via social media networks and SMS, alleges that the deportation of undocumented migrants began on Monday.

In a statement, the department said no such statement was made or issued by the department or any official.

Home Affairs acts consistently within the confines of the Constitution of the Republic and seeks at all times to uphold the rule of law. It would run 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 department said it is through Immigration Services and its inspectorate that the department enforces immigration legislation, manages the immigration system and effects deportations, in terms of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 and regulations.

The inspectorate has a duty to ensure that persons in South Africa are correctly documented, reside in the country on a lawful basis and acquire documents and status lawfully.

It has standardised systems relating to the detection, detention and deportation of illegal foreign nationals in South Africa, the department said.

It urged citizens and all other persons in the country to ignore this false alarm that is seemingly seeking to fuel tensions in the country.

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.