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Mos Def arrested in SA for immigration issues

Mos Def, whose real name is Yasiin Bey, was arrested at Cape Town International Airport yesterday.

US actor/artist Yasiin ‘Mos Def’ Bey. Picture: Instagram @mosdefofficial.
new immigration regulations,Mos Def,Yasiin Bey,immigration law
Local Entertainment Lifestyle

CAPE TOWN - American rapper and actor Mos Def has appeared in court for allegedly contravening the country's immigration laws.

The rapper, whose birth name is Dante Smith, is known in the music industry as Mos Def, and now goes by the name Yasiin Bey, was arrested at Cape Town International Airport yesterday.

The artist has been living in Cape Town for a few years.

The police’s Noloyiso Rwexana said, “I can confirm that a 42-year-old man was arrested yesterday and is expected to appear in the Bellville magistrates court today on Immigration Act related charges.”

Department of home affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete has confirmed that the rapper has been “charged with usage of fraudulent travel documents [and that] the matter is currently before the courts.”

Tshwete has also answered a few questions from concerned Bey fans on Twitter.

The department has also given Bey and his family 14 day to leave the country.

BEY BARRED FROM ENTERING US  IN 2014

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

IDRIS ELBA DENIED ACCESS

In November last year, Hollywood star Idris Elba also fell foul of the new visa requirements in this country.

Elba, who is best known for his movie portrayal of Madiba in Long Walk to Freedom, was turned back at Heathrow Airport in London.

The award-winning actor was boarding a flight with his 14-year old daughter when he was told he did not have the correct documents.

The Home Affairs Department’s Mayihlome Tshwete said the actor was not above the law.

“The travel requirements are quite simple and generic when applied across the bar, whether a person has a certain status or not. What we should have focused our attention on over the past year, the tourism sector and ourselves as the department, is informing people on what they need to travel to South Africa.”

WAS BILL GATES TURNED AWAY?

In another incident, in September last year, the home affairs department strongly denied reports that Bill Gates and his daughter were denied entry into South Africa because of strict new visa rules

Morning Live anchor Leanne Manas had tweeted that the American business magnate had landed at the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park, but was turned away because he didn’t have his daughter’s unabridged birth certificate with him.

Tshwete said, “If Bill Gates had gone to a port of entry and didn’t have the necessary documents our immigration officers were going to apply the law and ask him to provide documents.”

It later turned out that Manas had received bad information and even apologised for tweeting it.

To view the new regulations, click here. 

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

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