South Africa’s home affairs office has confirmed reports that a number of Nigerian nationals have been deported.

Nigerian media has been reporting that 97 nationals accused of committing various offences were deported on Monday.

Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete told me that hundreds of undocumented people were deported, the majority of them from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

Others included citizens from Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Somalia, “so it would be unfair to single out Nigerians”, he said.

It takes somewhere between 60 to 90 days to process deportations – this means that the people who were deported this week began their process last year and therefore couldn’t be linked to current events.

South Africa has experienced several protests against foreigners and looting of shops owned by migrants.

South Africa deports about 30,000 people every year.