Rapper Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, was arrested in South Africa at the Cape Town International Airport on Thursday for traveling with a fake passport.
Rapper Bey has been living in South Africa since 2013 and entered with a valid U.S. passport, but he “overstayed” his visitor’s permit and tried to leave with what he called a “world passport,” which is not recognized by South Africa, according to tweets posted by Department of Home Affairs Spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete on Friday. More after the cut…
“Mr Smith( Rapper) has been living in SA with his family without the necessary permits, he was detained upon departure for using illegal travel docs,” Tshwete wrote. “SAPS (South African Police Service) has charged him with usage of fraudulent travel documents.” “The matter is currently before the courts,” he continued. “The Department Of Home Affairs has given Mr Smith and his family 14 days to leave the republic.” The court order would keep Bey from coming back to South Africa for five years, though the rapper is expected to ask for leniency. Tshwete said that the “courts will give direction” on what, if any, jail time Bey might face if he does not leave. “We are all fans guys … but the law is the law,” Tshwete tweeted.
The Brooklyn-born rapper is expected to apply for bail Friday afternoon, reports the South African news site City Press.
Bey, 42, starred in “The Italian Job,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “Chappelle’s Show,” and the sixth season of Showtime’s “Dexter.”