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Mos Def granted R5,000 bail by SA court

Officials says he entered SA with a legitimate US passport, but outstayed his visitor’s permit.

CAPE TOWN – US rapper and actor Mos Def has been granted bail of R5,000 after being charged with contravening South Africa’s Immigration Act.

The Department of Home Affairs says the actor, whose birth name is Dante Smith but now goes by Yasiin Bey, entered the country with a legitimate American passport, but outstayed his visitor’s permit.

Bey appeared at the Bellville Magistrates Court today after he was arrested at Cape Town International Airport yesterday for using fake travel documents.

Home affairs has given Bey, his wife and their four children two weeks to leave the country.

It’s not clear how today’s court ruling may affected that decision.

The department’s spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete says the family has been staying in the country illegally after their visitor permits expired.

“A big challenge we’ve had is that people travel to South Africa under the guise of being visitors or tourists and once they’ve arrive in South Africa they try to change their stay to be more permanent.”

When Bey was arrested, the entertainer apparently told officials he had a “world passport”, which the department says is not a recognised document in South Africa.


In May 2014, Bey had another run-in with the laws of his birth country and even had to cancel a planned tour.

He had been living in South Africa for a year at the time and was denied access into the US, also over immigration laws.

The New York Daily News quoted the rapper saying, “I came to Cape Town in 2009, and it just hit me. I was like, ‘Yeah’. I know when a good vibe gets to you. And, you know, I thought about this place every day from when I left. I was like, ‘I’m coming back’.”

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