Mos Def can leave, but not return to SA

2016-11-22 11:22
US hip hop artist and actor Mos Def (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

US hip hop artist and actor Mos Def (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Johannesburg - United States musician and actor Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def, will be declared an undesirable person and will not be allowed to re-enter South Africa in future, the home affairs department said on Tuesday.

Mos Def, who also goes by the name Dante Terrell Smith, has been in hot water with the department since January after trying to leave the country with a document that is not officially recognised in South Africa.

“For his conduct, Mr Smith Bey will be declared an undesirable person by the Director-General of Home Affairs in terms of Section 30 of the Immigration Act of 2002,” the department said in a statement, following a media briefing, on Tuesday morning.

“He will therefore not qualify for a port of entry visa or admission to the republic.”

However, Mos Def could apply for a waiver, for good cause, in terms of Section 2 of the same act, it said.

He was arrested in Cape Town in January and charged with contravening immigration laws after attempting to leave the country using a document called a world passport.

South Africa does not recognise this as a valid passport.

Mos Def was expected to appear in the Bellville Magistrate's Court for this matter on Friday.

But Tuesday's announcements by the home affairs department changed this.

The department said it received a written apology from Mos Def for contravening the provisions of the Immigration Act of 2002, as well as the South African Passports and Travel Documents Act of 1994.

“Mr Smith Bey has unreservedly apologised to the government of South Africa and more particularly to the Department of Home Affairs for his actions and for any inconvenience and/or prejudice this may have caused.

“The department is satisfied with the apology, and has agreed in principle for him to depart from South Africa on Tuesday."

Both parties came to the agreement that if Mos Def left South Africa immediately on Tuesday, on a valid US passport, the department would withdraw its charges against him.

“To this end, (he) has applied for and will be travelling out of the republic on a US passport,” it said.

The charges would be withdrawn in Mos Def's absence on Friday, it added.

Read more on:    department of home affairs  |  mos def

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