Yasiin Bey Arrested in South Africa

Yasiin Bey

Yasiin Bey Arrested in South Africa

He tried to leave the country with a “world passport.”

Published January 15, 2016

Yasiin Bey was arrested at the Cape Town International Airport in South Africa Thursday for using fraudulent documents to leave the country, reports the Associated Press. Bey was attempting to fly out with a “world passport,” Department of Home Affairs Spokesman Mayihlome Tshwet tweeted Friday.

The 42-year-old Brooklyn-born MC made a court appearance after his arrest, and has since been given two weeks to leave South Africa. He’s also banned from re-entering for five years, but can appeal the decision.  


Bey, formally known under the stage name Mos Def, moved to South Africa in 2013 under a now-expired visitors permit. “Mr. Smith came into S.A. with a legitimate U.S. passport but since overstayed his visitors permit,” Tshwet tweeted. “The Department of Home Affairs has given Mr. Smith and his family 14 days to leave the republic.”

A rep for Bey denied the allegations telling Okay Africa, “From what I’ve read, [the government's] allegations are wrong. [Bey] attempted to leave the country for a professional commitment and was denied the ability to board an airplane after providing his World Passport. A World Passport is issued by the World Service in support of the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the South African government has previously accepted the World Passport to enter the country... as recently as August."

The rep added that Bey doesn’t use his U.S. passport for “social and political” reasons and should not be forced to do so.

Read Tshwet’s tweets below. 

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(Photo: MCvitanovic / Splash News)

Written by Latifah Muhammad


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