Cape Town – US hip hop artist and actor Yasiin Bey, better known by his former stage name, Mos Def, attempted to leave Cape Town by producing an unrecognised “world passport”, home affairs confirmed on Friday.
This document was declined by immigration officials at Cape Town International Airport last Saturday, said department of home affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete.
The artist, born Dante Terrell Smith, was arrested on Thursday and appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Western Cape police confirmed the arrest of a 42-year-old man on immigration-related charges.
Tshwete said: “He entered the country using an USA passport on a tourist visa. Further investigation into the matter revealed that Mr Smith’s wife, mother and four children had overstayed and were sojourning in the country illegally.”
An order was issued to these family members to depart the country within 14 days. The order would be monitored by immigration officials.
“Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has reiterated that immigration officials, in the course of exercising their duties, ought to apply the law without fear or favour.”
Tshwete said the outcomes of the court process would be communicated at a later stage.
The artist has been living in Cape Town for a few years.
In 2014, Mos Def told the Mail & Guardian newspaper: “Last year May, I came [to Cape Town] and I said I'm not leaving. I'm staying. It's a beautiful place. It has the ocean, mountain, botanical gardens and beautiful people.”
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