American rapper Mos Def arrested in South Africa
The Home Affairs department on Friday confirmed that US hip hop star Mos Def‚ real name Dante Terrell Smith‚ has been arrested in Cape Town‚ allegedly for not having a valid passport.
“The South African Police Service (SAPS) has charged him with usage of fraudulent travel documents. The matter is currently before the courts‚” Home Affairs ministerial spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said via Twitter.
The arrest was on Thursday.
“Mr Smith has been living in SA with his family without the necessary permits‚ he was detained upon departure for using illegal travel documents‚” Tshwete said of the charge Smith was facing.
Asked if he could be deported‚ Tshwete said: “It’s before the courts...we will see”.
Last year Mos Def‚ who also calls himself Yasiin Bey‚ cancelled a planned tour of the States due to what his publicists called “legal and immigration issues”.
According to Rolling Stone magazine‚ the performer moved to Cape Town in 2009.
14 days to leave the country
The Department of Home Affairs has given American rapper Mos Def and his family 14 days to leave South Africa following his arrest in Cape Town for not having a valid passport.
“The South African Police Service (SAPS) has charged him with usage of fraudulent travel documents," Tshwete said.
Expanding on the charge‚ Tshwete explained that the performer came into SA with a legitimate US passport‚ “but since overstayed his visitors permit”.
“Mr Smith was departing SA using a ‘World Passport’. South Africa does not recognise a ‘World Passport’.”
Tshwete‚ responding to shock responses from music lovers‚ showed his human side‚ commenting: “We are all fans guys...but the law is the law”.