Amid the recent xenophobic violence that broke out in the country last week, the South African government has deported 97 Nigerians.
The 97 Nigerian nationals were reportedly deported by the South African government for various criminal and civil offences.
About four Nigerian media outlets reported that the deportees consist of 95 males and two females and that they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Johannesburg in a chartered aircraft with the registration number GBB710 on Monday night.
Reports have it that those accused of criminal offenses were immediately handed over to the police for further investigation, while those who allegedly committed civil offenses were allowed to go home after they were screened by the officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) at the airport.
Nigerian media outlet, Pulse.ng reported that the current deportation brings the number of Nigerians who were forced to return home in the last one month to 500.
The local media quoted that 314 Nigerians were recently deported from Libya, while Cameroon repatriated 517 Nigerians last Thursday.
It added that Germany, Italy and Belgium also deported 43 Nigerians last Friday, while 41 Nigerian girls who were trafficked to Mali for sex and labour exploitation were deported on Monday, February 27.
Another Nigerian media outlet Premium Times reported that the spokesperson of the Lagos Airport Police Command Joseph Alabi confirmed the development.
BuzzSouthAfrica understands that six Nigerians were deported for drug-related offenses while 10 were sent home for criminal-related offenses, according to the information provided to the Nigerian News Agency by an immigration source.
Properties valued at millions of dollars belonging to Nigerians and other foreign nationals were destroyed in the recent xenophobic attacks that massively broke out in Rosettenville, Johannesburg and some parts of Tshwane last week.
Jeppestown, a town in Johannesburg is said to have been looted on Sunday evening and Monday. Residents of the town reportedly demonstrated against foreigners who own car workshops and spaza shops in the area, accusing foreigners of committing crimes such as drug dealing and prostitution
The recent spates of attacks on the immigrants have been strongly condemned by various governments across the continent.
At the plenary on Tuesday, the Nigerian National Assembly reportedly resolved to send a delegation to meet with the South African parliament on measures to be adopted to stop the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and Africans at large.
The Senate also advised the Nigerian government to reconsider Nigeria’s diplomatic ties with South Africa with a view to averting the recurrence of the xenophobic attacks and extra-judicial killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
Moving a motion on the matter, a Nigerian MP, Senator Rose Oko (representing Cross River North) expressed concern over recurring xenophobic attacks of Nigerians in South Africa.
She stated that on February 18, South Africans attacked and looted businesses belonging to Nigerians in Pretoria, pointing out that the acts violated Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stipulated that “no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.
Also, the Nigerian House of Representatives constituted a delegation on Tuesday to meet with the South African parliament.
The delegation will be led by Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and five other members, including the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje.
While urging South Africans to give peace a chance, the South African government has also blamed illegal and criminal immigrants from Nigeria and other countries for the attacks.